A severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke is called a hypertensive crisis. Extremely high blood pressure can damage blood vessels and weaken arteries in the brain, increasing the risk of stroke.
- Healthy blood pressure: under 120/80 mm Hg
- Prehypertension: 120/80 mm Hg to 139/89 mm Hg
- Hypertension: above 140/90 mm Hg
- Hypertensive crisis: above 180/120 mm Hg
Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are considered stroke-level, dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.
What are symptoms of high blood pressure?
While hypertension is sometimes called the silent killer due to the fact that most people show no symptoms, a few common signs of the condition include:
- Severe headaches
- Pounding in the chest, neck or ears
- Chest pain
- Vision problems
- Trouble sleeping
Rare symptoms may include:
What are the different types of hypertension?
There are two types of hypertension:
- Primary hypertension or essential hypertension is the most common type, and there is no known cause for it. This type of high blood pressure usually takes many years to develop is often the result of lifestyle, environment and older age.
- Secondary hypertension is caused by another health problem or medication:
- Kidney problems
- Sleep apnea
- Thyroid or adrenal gland problems
- Side effects of some medications
What are treatment options for high blood pressure?
Treating high blood pressure may include a combined approach of dietary changes, medication and exercise. The goal is to lower your blood pressure and thus lower your risk of developing health problems caused by high blood pressure.
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 mm Hg and 130/80 mm Hg, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking to help bring blood pressure down to a normal range. Medication is rarely used at this stage.
Stage I hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 130/80 mmHg but below 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medication in addition to recommending lifestyle changes.
Stage II hypertension
If your blood pressure is above 140/90 mmHg, your doctor may start you on more rigorous medications and recommend stricter lifestyle changes. Medications may include:
- Diuretics or water pills help kidneys remove some salt (sodium) from the body. As a result, blood vessels do not have to hold as much fluid and normal blood pressure can be maintained.
- Beta-blockers lower stress on the heart and blood vessels.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (also called ACE inhibitors) help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure as a result.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers (also called ARBs) work the same way as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.
- Calcium channel blockers relax blood vessels by reducing the amount of calcium entering cells.
- Alpha-blockers help relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure as a result.
- Centrally acting drugs send signals to the brain and nervous systems to relax blood vessels.
- Vasodilators help muscles in the walls of blood vessels to relax.
- Renin inhibitors are a new type of medication that reduces the amount of angiotensin precursors, relaxing blood vessels.
Possible side effects
Common side effects of high blood pressure medicines include:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Is Stroke-Level High Blood Pressure? 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.
High Blood Pressure & BodyHigh blood pressure puts you at risk for a number of other conditions. Here's what to look out for.
High Blood PressureWhat causes high blood pressure (hypertension)? Know the warning signs and symptoms of high blood pressure. Read about high blood pressure medications, diet, and long term treatments.
HBP QuizTake this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and heart attacks. How are dizziness, snoring, and gout related to HBP? Find the answer and learn how medical treatments and lifestyle adjustments fight this common problem.
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include lifestyle modifications (alcohol, smoking, coffee, salt, diet, exercise), drugs and medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers (CCBs), alpha blockers, clonidine, minoxidil, and Exforge.
How Can You Prevent a Stroke From Happening?Strokes occur due to the obstruction of blood flow to the brain. Some irreversible factors, such as age and family history, are likely to increase the risk of stroke. These factors cannot be modified. However, many such preventable or modifiable factors can help prevent strokes.
How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy?High blood pressure during pregnancy can cause serious complications. Learn more about the signs of and risks associated with the condition.
Hypertension PictureHigh blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90. See a picture of Hypertension and learn more about the health topic.
15 Surprising Things That Raise Your Blood PressureSalt, worry, and anger aren't the only things that can raise your blood pressure. Risk factors like loneliness and birth control may also affect blood pressure. See what else can bump your numbers up.
Stroke SlideshowWhat is a stroke? Learn about stroke symptoms like sudden numbness or weakness, confusion, vision problems, or problems with coordination. Discover causes and recovery of a stroke.
Stroke PreventionStroke is the third leading killer in the United States. Some of the warning signs of stroke include sudden confusion, trouble seeing with one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance, and more. Stroke prevention and reatable risk factors for stroke include lowering high blood pressure, quit smoking, heart disease, diabetes control and prevention.
Stroke QuizTake the Stroke Quiz to learn about stroke risks, causes, treatment, and most importantly, prevention.
StrokeA stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include: weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
High Blood Pressure SymptomsMost people with high blood pressure have no signs or symptoms, even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels. In some patients, symptoms may include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, confusion, sweating, chest pain and vision problems.
What are the 5 Warning Signs of a Stroke?What is a stroke and what should you do if someone you know has one? Learn the signs of stroke and what to do if you think you're having one.
What Is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?High blood pressure or hypertension is when the blood pressure readings consistently range from 140 or higher for systolic or 90 or higher for diastolic. Blood pressure readings above 180/120 mmHg are dangerously high and require immediate medical attention.