Hypertension is a silent killer, which means that patients do not necessarily need to experience signs and symptoms, and the medical condition is still active and creating mounting problems. High blood pressure is a chronic cardiovascular problem that is often associated with other diseases such as diabetes, myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis. It becomes more common as we age, and should be differentiated from the normal rise in blood pressure experienced during exercise or when experiencing emotional distress.
But even though hypertension tends to be asymptomatic, there are key signs and symptoms that patients commonly experience in a hypertensive crisis, an emergency situation where blood pressure levels rise to alarmingly high levels. The signs and symptoms of a hypertensive crisis are as follows:
The blood vessels in the brain are susceptible to blood pressure, and one of the most widely known symptoms in a hypertensive crisis is a headache. However, it might not be as common as people think because according to studies, only a minor percentage of the population with hypertension suffers from headaches. It is typically a pounding headache that is felt in the neck area predominantly but may have different features according to each case. In these patients, it is important to differentiate tension headaches from migraines and other causes of headache, which may coexist in a patient with known hypertension.