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What is the Connection Between Hypertension and Dizziness?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The main connection between hypertension and dizziness is that uncontrolled high blood pressure can eventually lead to dizzy spells along with various other symptoms. There may also be a less prominent link in that some conditions which cause high blood pressure or which high blood pressure contributes to, may also cause dizziness. These can include heart disease, stroke, and the use of certain medications.

In most cases hypertension and dizziness do not occur together unless there is an underlying health condition. While hypertension can eventually lead to dizziness, this is usually the end result of years of high blood pressure and lack of treatment. In its early stages, or when properly controlled, high blood pressure generally has no symptoms and many people do not even realize they have it.

There are some medical conditions which may occur with hypertension and dizziness. Heart problems, for instance, are often caused by high blood pressure and they may also lead to dizzy spells. Certain high blood pressure medications may also lead to dizziness and other side effects. Patients who experience severe or chronic dizziness while taking hypertension medication or any other medication should contact a health care provider.

When hypertension and dizziness do occur together, this generally indicates a serious rise in blood pressure and may be considered a medical emergency. Very high uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, shock, and death. Symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, and sometimes loss of consciousness. Medical intervention is needed to quickly lower blood pressure to stable levels and to correct or stop any serious effects, such as heart attack.

Hypertension can be prevented or treated by eating foods low in sodium and by visiting a doctor for annual checkups to ensure that blood pressure is normal. This is generally found during a routine visit and can be successfully treated with medication. Slight spikes in blood pressure are often not a sign of true hypertension and can be caused by stress, fear, or anxiety. If patients exhibit only mild high blood pressure, it may be due to this reason and should be monitored regularly.

If dizziness occurs regularly and for no known reason, an underlying medical condition other than hypertension may be to blame. There are a variety of illnesses and conditions which may result in mild to severe dizziness. Often, it is something as simple as not eating enough and having low blood sugar. Other times a more serious medical issue may be to blame. Any symptoms lasting longer than two weeks should be evaluated by a doctor.

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Discussion Comments

By stoneMason — On Jul 08, 2013

@ZipLine-- You didn't mention the type of medication you're on. I'm on beta-blockers for hypertension and I know that dizziness is listed as a common side effect of my medication. If you're using the same kind of drug, your dizziness might be a side effect.

Do you have a blood pressure monitor at home? Are you checking your BP regularly and especially when you get a dizzy spell? If you haven't been doing this, you need to. If you have a dizzy spell but your blood pressure and pulse is normal, then there is nothing to worry about. But if your BP is high when you are feeling dizzy, you need to see your doctor.

Dizziness in vehicles could also be due to vertigo. So it's also possible that the symptoms of dizziness and blood pressure have nothing to do with each other in your case.

By ZipLine — On Jul 07, 2013

I was diagnosed with hypertension a little over a month ago. I didn't have much symptoms before I was diagnosed, aside from a persistent stiff and painful neck. For the past few weeks however, I have been feeling dizzy from time to time. Dizziness seems to come on whenever I'm in the car and I haven't been driving for this reason. I also feel very tired.

Could these be side effects of hypertension medications?

By fify — On Jul 06, 2013

I think dizziness symptoms are much more common with low blood pressure than high blood pressure. My mom has hypertension and she rarely has dizzy spells. I experience low blood pressure from time to time and I always experience dizziness when it happens. It's actually what urges me to have my blood pressure checked.

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