Signs My Blood Pressure Is Too High

We may know a lot about blood pressure and may have even been diagnosed with hypertension (High Blood Pressure or HBP). However, there may be a few of us out there who could be experiencing higher than normal blood pressure and not even know it.

High blood pressure often has no symptoms. However, over time and if untreated, it can cause health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.

So what can you do to prevent and know the signs and symptoms that your blood pressure may be increasing?

First, let’s address the signs and symptoms.

According to the American Heart Association you can’t. (

The truth is, high blood pressure is largely symptomless, which is why it’s nicknamed the “silent killer.” If you ignore your blood pressure because you think a certain symptom or sign will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life.

The American Heart Association recommends that:

The American Heart Association goes on to address a variety of symptoms that may be indirectly related to, but are NOT always caused by, high blood pressure, such as:

  • Blood spots in the eyes: Blood spots in the eyes (subconjunctival hemorrhage) are more common in people with diabetes or high blood pressure, but neither condition causes the blood spots. Floaters in the eyes are also not related to high blood pressure. However, an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) may be able to detect damage to the optic nerve caused by untreated high blood pressure.
  • Facial flushing: Facial flushing occurs when blood vessels in the face dilate. It can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers such as sun exposure, cold weather, spicy foods, wind, hot drinks and skin-care products. Facial flushing can also occur with emotional stress, exposure to heat or hot water, alcohol consumption and exercise — all of which can raise blood pressure temporarily. While facial flushing may occur while your blood pressure is higher than usual, high blood pressure is not the cause of facial flushing.
  • Dizziness: While dizziness can be a side effect of some blood pressure medications, it is not caused by high blood pressure. However, dizziness should not be ignored, especially if the onset is sudden. Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and trouble walking are all warning signs of a stroke. High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for stroke.

Next let’s address how to prevent high blood pressure.

There are a number of factors and variables that can put you at a greater risk for developing high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension). Understanding these risk factors can help you be more aware of how likely you are to develop high blood pressure.

Some risk factors like family history, age, gender, race, & chronic kidney disease are not preventable. However, there are many modifiable risk factors that are. (

These are the risk factors you can change to help prevent and manage high blood pressure, Here are some things to make note of:

  • Moving our bodies. Physical activity is great for your heart and circulatory system in general, and blood pressure is no exception. Not getting enough physical activity as part of your lifestyle increases your risk of getting high blood pressure. Learn more about getting regular physical activity.
  • No variety in how we fuel our body. Good nutrition from a variety of sources is critical for your health.  How are you fueling your body for the lifestyle you live?  Our body can only manage so much salt and sodium.  Consuming more than our body can handle can lead to high blood pressure.  Whole foods packed with nutrients and fiber can help lower blood pressure. Learn more about improving your diet.
  • Weight. Carrying too much weight puts an extra strain on your heart and circulatory system that can cause serious health problems. It also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Learn more about managing your weight.
  • Regular, heavy use of alcohol can cause many health problems, including heart failure, stroke and an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). It can cause your blood pressure to increase dramatically and can also increase your risk of cancer, obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents. Learn more about alcohol, high blood pressure and the importance of moderation.
  • Sleep. Sleep is always a good thing. Our bodies need to rest. Sleep apnea is something to be aware of when it comes to high blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea may increase risk of developing HBP and is common in people with resistant hypertension.
  • Cholesterol. High cholesterol: More than half of people with HBP also have high cholesterol.
  • Blood Sugar Levels. Diabetes: Most people with diabetes also develop HBP.
  • Smoking and tobacco use. Using tobacco can cause your blood pressure to temporarily increase and can contribute to damaged arteries. Secondhand smoke, exposure to other people’s smoke, also increases the risk of heart disease for nonsmokers. Learn more about quitting smoking.
  • Stress is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. But too much stress may contribute to increased blood pressure. Also, too much stress can encourage behaviors that increase blood pressure, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, and using tobacco or drinking alcohol more than usual. Socioeconomic status and psychosocial stress can affect access to basic living necessities, medication, healthcare providers, and the ability to adopt healthy lifestyle changes. Learn more about managing your stress.

Bottom line it’s important to know YOUR numbers and what is normal for you.

Check your blood pressure regularly and take a moment to listen to what your body is telling you. When something feels off, it’s important and wise to seek professional advice to confirm any diagnosis.

For more information on Blood Pressure, what it is, and ways to change your numbers go to

Written By: Lisa Peacock, VirtuWell Coach