- Hypertensive Crisis
- Causes & Complications
- Treatment Options
- Related Resources
Blood pressure is considered high if it is:
- In stage I: 130/80 mmHg or higher
- In stage II: 140/90 mmHg or higher
A sudden fall or spike in blood pressure can be dangerous.
Blood pressure is the force of pushing blood against the walls of the blood vessels. When the heart beats pump the blood, the blood pressure is higher and is called systolic pressure. When the heart is at rest in between the beats, the blood pressure lowers, which is called diastolic pressure.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg (120 indicates systolic pressure, and 80 indicates diastolic pressure).
Early detection of blood pressure is very important. Hypertension is considered a “silent killer.” It does not show any symptoms but can increase the risk of heart disease, heart damage, stroke, or other conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 in the United States, more than 360,000 deaths from hypertension were reported in a year.
- A sudden spike in blood pressure is called a hypertensive crisis, which is a medical emergency.
- Blood pressure that is elevated to 180/120 mmHg or higher is dangerous and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening health problems.
- A rapid and sudden spike in blood pressure may cause damage to the blood vessels and organs, such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. During a hypertensive crisis, the heart cannot pump blood properly.
- More than 100 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Only half of this count maintains blood pressure under control. Most people develop high blood pressure in their late 30s or early 40s.
What is a hypertensive crisis?
A sudden increase in blood pressure where the systolic blood pressure is greater than 180 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure is greater than 120 mmHg.
Hypertensive crisis is categorized into two types:
- Urgent hypertensive crisis: Blood pressure is 180/120 mmHg or higher. There are no signs of organ failure. Blood pressure can be brought down easily with medications, and it takes a few hours to lower the values after taking medicine.
- Emergency hypertensive crisis: Blood pressure is 180/120 mmHg or higher. There is life-threatening damage to the body's organs. In this condition, the blood pressure must be lowered or brought back to normal values immediately using medicines to prevent organ failure.
What are the causes and complications of hypertensive crisis?
Causes of the hypertensive crisis include:
- Irregularly taking or skipping medications for high blood pressure
- Suddenly stopping certain heart medications, such as beta-blockers
- Any tumors in the adrenal gland
- In some cases, drug interactions can increase the risk of hypertension
Organ damages that are associated with the emergency hypertensive crisis include:
What are the symptoms of a hypertensive crisis?
Symptoms of the hypertensive crisis include:
- Chest pain
- Vision problems
- Severe headache
- Shortness of breath
- No response to stimuli
You can check your blood pressure at home when you have high blood pressure and no other symptoms.
Stay calm and recheck the readings again after some time. If the values are still high, then immediately seek medical help.
Untreated blood pressure can cause severe complications and increase the risk of heart problems and stroke. It is imperative to check your blood pressure readings very often.
What are the treatment options for the hypertensive crisis?
The treatment of hypertension includes:
- Healthy lifestyle habits (stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption, lose weight, practice stress-relieving exercises, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly)
- Medications, such as anti-hypertensive drugs
- Treatment for hypertensive crisis may include a stay in the hospital to monitor organ damage
- The medicines should be started immediately to lower the blood pressure and are administered orally or intravenously
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
High Blood Pressure and Hypertensive Crisis. https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/hypertensive-crisis
Understanding Blood Pressure Readings. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings
Hypertensive crisis: What are the symptoms? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/hypertensive-crisis/faq-20058491
Top What Blood Pressure Is Considered Life-Threatening Related Articles
Can High Blood Pressure Hurt My Eyes?Unfortunately, yes. Suffering from untreated or poorly controlled high blood pressure for a long time can be detrimental to your eyes. Several eye diseases are directly or indirectly caused by high blood pressure (hypertension).
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.
Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.
If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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