Hypertension or high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Stage 1 hypertension is the beginning stage of high blood pressure. Your blood pressure is measured in numbers that are in a fraction. Your systolic pressure is the top number and represents when your heart beats. The bottom or diastolic number represents when the heart is at rest. Having stage 1 hypertension means that on several readings your systolic blood pressure is between 140 to 159 mm Hg, your diastolic blood pressure is between 90 to 99 mm Hg, or both numbers are within this range.
Most people have high blood pressure (HBP) for years without knowing it. According to the American Heart Association "The truth is that HBP is largely a symptomless condition. If you ignore your blood pressure because you think symptoms will alert you to the problem, you are taking a dangerous chance with your life." This is especially true in the early stages of the disease. This is why it is so important to get your blood pressure checked. The AHA states that testing your blood pressure is often the only way you will know if your pressure is high.
If you are in the early stage of hypertension, you may possibly experience symptoms such dull headaches, dizzy spells or a few more nosebleeds than normal. However the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute claims that "Some people only learn that they have HBP after the damage has caused problems, such as coronary heart disease, stroke or kidney failure." The Centers for Disease Control state that "High blood pressure is sometimes called the 'silent killer' because it usually has no noticeable warning signs or symptoms until other serious problems arise."
The Mayo Clinic states that, in most cases, if you do experience symptoms, it means you are no longer in Stage 1 hypertension and your blood pressure has risen to a dangerously high level. This includes symptoms such as severe dizziness, nausea, vomiting, trouble concentrating, changes in your vision or chest pain.