Many patients with essential hypertension report that they can determine when their blood pressure is elevated. Often, their perception of experiencing high blood pressure is accompanied by vague complaints of headache, fatigue, dizziness, sweating, a pounding heart, or nose-bleeds (Berkow, 1982; Hoffman et al., 1973).
The available data, however, refute these claims (Baumann and Leventhal, 1985; Brondolo et al.,1999; Kottke et al., 1979; Van Reek et al., 1982). No consistent relations have been observed among any particular symptom and the actual experience of high blood pressure, and when there appears to be a relation, it occurs for patients with both high and low blood pressure.
Thus, in most cases, essential hypertension is best considered an asymptomatic disorder. In cases of chronic essential hypertension that have already resulted in target organ damage, some symptoms like headaches and visual disturbances do commonly occur, but are more likely the result of the damaged tissue than of the hypertension (Sandok and Whisnant, 1983).