Hypertension, or high blood pressure, usually has no signs or symptoms that you can feel or see. That means if you don’t get your blood pressure checked regularly, you could have hypertension for years without knowing it. During that time, the condition can cause damage to your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body.

Some people only learn that they have high blood pressure after the damage has caused problems, such as coronary artery disease, stroke, or kidney failure.

Knowing your blood pressure numbers is important, even when you’re feeling fine. If your blood pressure is normal, you can work with your healthcare team to keep it that way. If your blood pressure is too high, you can take steps to lower it. Lowering your blood pressure now can help reduce the risk for related health problems down the road.