Symptoms of high platelets

Updated November 21, 2016

High platelets are also called thrombocythemia. This is a condition that may be caused by a variety of different illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancers and a number of other ailments. In many cases, however, the cause of high platelets is not known, and its symptoms can be debilitating.

Tingling and Burning

According to the Merck Manual Online Medical Library, people with high platelets may experience unusual sensations in their hands and feet, including burning and tingling. It is not known precisely why these sensations are present in people with this ailment. However, it is suspected that high platelets interfere with the circulatory system, resulting in burning and tingling. Older people are more prone to high platelets and may have additional circulation problems in addition to thrombocythemia.

Vision Changes

Vision changes are a common symptom of high platelets, according to Merck. As with burning and tingling sensations in the feet, it is thought that the high amount of blood vessels and capillaries in the eyes contribute to vision problems and changes that occur as the platelets accumulate in the eyes. One test that many ophthalmologists employ takes a photograph of the inner eye and illustrates any irregularities in eye blood circulation.


As with most other symptoms of high platelets, headaches involve problems with the circulation in the veins, vessels and capillaries found in the scalp and in the membrane that surrounds the brain. According to Merck, problems with circulation contribute significantly to the amount, frequency and intensity of headaches that are experienced in people with high platelets. In many cases, headaches may be the first and primary symptom experienced by a people with a high-platelet count.

Cold Sensations

As with most other symptoms of high platelets, sensations of cold in hands and feet may be directly related to problems with the circulation system in the hands and feet. According to Merck, small blood clots may be present in the small capillaries and veins of the extremities, which causes them to feel unusually cold, even if the outside temperature is warm. Older people may be especially prone to difficulties with blood circulation in their hands and feet. Pulses in their extremities should be checked regularly.


One of the symptoms of high platelets can be frequent nosebleeds. Breakthrough bleeding may occur with some regularity as platelets build up and create blood clots. According to Merck, nosebleeds may be a spontaneous occurrence with no explanation. However, if nosebleeds become regular events, then high blood platelets should be suspected. Other types of bleeding that can occur with high platelets include oozing or slight bleeding from the gums, easy bruising and bleeding in the digestive tract.

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About the Author

Viktoria Carella has been a full-time freelance writer for seven years and writes mainly on health topics along with other topics such as home improvement, SEO and more. Carella has been writing for Demand Studios for several months and has been published in her neighborhood newspaper on several occasions.