Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. High blood pressure typically develops over many years, and it affects nearly everyone eventually. You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without a single symptom. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Most people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels.
Although a few people with early-stage high blood pressure may have dull headaches, dizzy spells or a few more nosebleeds than normal, these signs and symptoms typically don’t occur until high blood pressure has reached an advanced — even life-threatening — stage.
Unless you have symptoms of extremely high blood pressure, there’s probably no need to make a special trip to the doctor to have your blood pressure checked. You’ll likely have your blood pressure taken as part of a routine doctor’s appointment.