What Causes Spikes In Blood Pressure
A hypertensive crisis could be triggered by many different things. Some of the more common catalysts are: missing a blood pressure medication dosage, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or artery rupture. You can tell from this list that some issues will be much more critical as far as organ damage, so it is imperative to get to the ER for help, he says.
When Is High Blood Pressure An Emergency When To Go To The Emergency Room For High Blood Pressure
When you need to go to the emergency room for high blood pressure is different from when you need to be hospitalized for high blood pressure. As you read earlier, organ damage from dangerously high blood pressure can sometimes be difficult to know based on symptoms alone. You may need a blood test, urine tests, and an EKG to look for any potential organ damage when you have dangerously high blood pressure.
Anytime you check your blood pressure and it is above the cutoff of 180/120, you need to at least call your doctor and let you doctor decide if you need to go to the emergency room. If you have any of the concerning symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, bloody urine, frothy urine, blurry vision, or severe headaches along with dangerously high blood pressure, you need to call 911 and ask for help.
Here are some of the complications that may happen if you do not get timely treatment for dangerously high blood pressure with concerning symptoms:
- Major heart attack
- Major bleeding inside the brain
What Is A Hypertensive Crisis
When your blood pressure suddenly and severely surges, you experience a hypertensive crisis. However, this situation is quite rare and while some people will experience severe symptoms, others will not.
A hypertensive crisis occurs when the blood pressure reading goes up to 180/120mm Hg or more. Usually, you may experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, change in vision, back pain, numbness, and difficulty speaking.
You may also experience fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, anxiety, chest pain, and muscle tremors. It may cause chest pain, confusion, and possibly stroke. This case requires immediate medical assistance, so call 911 if you experience such symptoms.
On the other hand, a hypertensive urgency occurs when you record blood pressure readings of 180/120mm Hg or higher but doesn’t cause severe organ damage. This situation is less severe, as you can bring your blood pressure down within a short time by taking the right medication.
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Tobacco Smoking And Blood Pressure
Tobacco smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and can increase blood pressure. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do to help manage your blood pressure. Every cigarette that you dont smoke is doing you good.
The most effective way to stop smoking is with a combination of:
- stop-smoking medicines such as nicotine replacement therapy.
There is also evidence that e-cigarettes can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which may increase the risk of heart disease. If you are ready to quit smoking or thinking about quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about ways to help you give up smoking. You can also call the Quitline
Signs And Symptoms Of A Hypertensive Crisis
A higher blood pressure reading as described above may be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms. If you develop any of the signs above it would be a good idea to check your blood pressure to make sure its not in a hypertensive crisis .
A hypertensive urgency is a part of hypertensive crisis where your blood pressure numbers are high, over 180/120, but its a situation where you have to call a doctor and NOT go to the hospital. And believe me, even though the blood pressure numbers in this range are scary, its a huge relief that youre only calling a doctor instead of rushing to the hospital.
A hypertensive urgency is when your blood pressure numbers, as described above, fall into the hypertensive category but you are not experiencing any of the symptoms discussed earlier: chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision or difficulty breathing.
In this situation you will contact your doctor immediately and be guided by what they advise you. Normally, your healthcare provider may have you adjust or add medications but rarely requires hospitalization.
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Regular Blood Pressure Checks For Over Over 40s
The only way to find out whether you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Ask your GP when you are next due for yours to be checked.
Blood pressure checks are usually available on request at most GP surgeries and health clinics. Some surgeries have home monitoring devices available, which you may be able to use at the time of blood pressure medication start up or change. Many also have a policy of arranging regular checks for you.
Adults who are over 40 and have not been diagnosed with high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. However, your blood pressure should ideally be checked more frequently, particularly if you have any contributory risk factors.
Get Regular Blood Pressure Checks
Get your blood pressure checked every two years if your blood pressure is in the healthy range and:
- you have no other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and
- you have never been diagnosed with high blood pressure before, and
- you dont have any family history of high blood pressure.
Your doctor can also check your blood pressure during routine visits.
You should have your blood pressure checked more frequently if:
- your blood pressure is highnormal , or
- you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack.
You can also have your blood pressure checked as part of a Heart Health Check. A Heart Health Check is a 20-minute check up with your doctor which is subsidised by Medicare. You are eligible for a Heart Health Check if you:
- have not had a heart attack or stroke, and
- you are 45 years of age or over .
As part of a Heart Health check, your doctor will:
- ask you about your medical and family history of heart disease
- ask you about your lifestyle, including your diet, physical activity, and if you smoke or drink alcohol
- check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Your doctor will then use this information to calculate your risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next five years. Your doctor will then discuss how you can lower your risk.
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Facts About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure affects your health at every level
Theres a good reason why every doctors appointment starts with a blood pressure check. While one in three American adults has high blood pressure, about 20% of people are unaware that they have it because it is largely symptomless.
In fact, most people find out they have high blood pressure during a routine office visit.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when that force is too high and begins harming the body. If left untreated, it willl eventually cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Your blood pressure is measured in two numbers: The top systolic blood pressure measures the force pushing against artery walls when the heart is contracting. The bottom diastolic blood pressure measures pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
Normal blood pressure levels are 120 mmHg/80 mmHg or lower. At risk levels are 120-139 mmHg/80-89 mmHg. Readings of 140 mmHg/90 mmHg or higher are defined as high blood pressure.
Here are six other things you should know about high blood pressure.
Enlarged Heart And Cardiovascular Health
Question: I am 23 years old and in pretty good health. I have three children, and towards the end of each pregnancy, I have developed high blood pressure. Last week I went to a family doctor for a physical, and my blood pressure was 118/100. The doctor performed an electrocardiogram , and the results were abnormal she said that the left side of my heart is enlarged. She referred me to a cardiologist, and I have an appointment next week. I am very concerned. Does this mean that I will die young? Can I live a long life with an enlarged heart? I would appreciate your advice.
Answer: I agree with your doctor that aggressive management of your blood pressure is warranted. Your history of high blood pressure associated with pregnancy is not uncommon, and can be a harbinger of sustained hypertension such as what you seem to have developed. Although your top number, or systolic pressure, is not alarming, the bottom number, or diastolic pressure, is distinctly abnormal at 100 mm Hg. The criteria for assessing the enlargement of the left-sided heart in people your age are not definitive, and can depend on ethnicity and degree of physical training. Often, a trained observer can detect enlargement of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart, on physical examination.
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Can A Freestanding Er Handle My Hypertensive Crisis
Most definitely. At Advance ER, you will find much of the same equipment as in a hospital-based ER, including what is needed to treat a hypertensive crisis, heart attack or stroke.Without the long wait times, you will be comfortable, diagnosed and treated in record time. Our unique Specialists NOW program also makes a cardiologist available* for additional consultation assistance, as needed, he says. Were open 24/7 every day of the year, and youll get a board-certified physician with many years of experience, so dont hesitate to come in if you are concerned about your blood pressure reading or if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Is A Blood Pressure Reading Always The Same
Blood pressure can be affected by many factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
The time of day. Blood pressures fluctuate during waking hours, and are lower during sleep.
Physical activity. Blood pressure is usually higher during and immediately after exercise, and lower at periods of rest.
Emotional moods and stress. Feelings such as fear, anger, or happiness can affect the blood pressure.
Age, height, weight, and gender. Each of these can affect blood pressure.
Other illnesses present or medications you are taking. Other illnesses, including kidney disease or heart disease, affect blood pressure, as can certain medications.
Children and adolescents may be anxious in a doctor’s office, not knowing what may happen. Your doctor is aware that any emotions related to visiting the clinic can affect blood pressure and may give falsely high readings.
Before determining that your child has high blood pressure, a doctor or nurse will take several readings when your child is calm.
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How High Can Your Blood Pressure Get Before A Heart Attack
A increase in blood pressure should be reported to a doctor if the systolic pressure exceeds 180 or the diastolic pressure exceeds 110. People with blood pressure in this range are more likely to have a heart attack.
The maximum recorded blood pressure was 208/124 measured during an autopsy of a man who had died of kidney failure. The man also had two previously undetected aneurysms in one of his main arteries.
High blood pressure is responsible for approximately 7 out of 10 heart attacks.
It is estimated that half of all people with hypertension will experience a major cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke, or death from heart disease. These estimates show that hypertension is a very serious condition and requires careful management by a physician.
People with hypertension are at increased risk of having a heart attack even if their blood pressure is within the normal range. However, it is possible to prevent heart attacks in those with normal blood pressure by controlling other risk factors such as smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
Hypertension is controlled in its early stages when treatment can do most good. If you have mild hypertension , your doctor may recommend medication or changes in your lifestyle to lower your blood pressure.
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Preventing High Blood Pressure
Taking steps to reduce or prevent high blood pressure is one of the most important things you can do. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of hypertension or a hypertensive emergency:
- Stop Smoking By quitting smoking, you can lower your risk for stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure tremendously.
- Limit Alcohol Alcohol is known to raise blood pressure. Limiting your alcohol consumption can help keep your blood pressure levels in check.
- Exercise Regular physical activity is excellent for a lot of things, including lowering your blood pressure. Its generally recommended that adults get about 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
- Sleep According to the CDC, getting enough sleep is important for heart health and blood pressure regulation.
- Eat Healthily High salt and saturated fats diets can contribute to elevated blood pressure levels. Eating a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can help. Try speaking with your doctor or a nutritionist for advice.
- Lose Weight By keeping your weight at a healthy level, you can reduce your chances of high blood pressure or other health problems.
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What’s The Impact Of Having High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases such as:
- coronary heart disease – where the main arteries that supply your heart become clogged up with plaques
- strokes – a serious condition where the blood supply to your brain is interrupted
- heart attacks – a serious condition where the blood supply to part of your heart is blocked
Diabetes and kidney disease are also linked to high blood pressure complications.
When To Seek Emergency Medical Care
Hypertension can sometimes progress to a hypertensive emergency that requires immediate care in a hospital setting. A blood pressure reading higher than 180/120 is widely considered a hypertensive emergency, and it can lead to organ failure or death by skyrocketing the risk of stroke and heart failure.
Not every life-threatening case of hypertension causes noticeable symptoms, but some people may experience shortness of breath, headaches, or nosebleeds. Be sure to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you or someone around you is experiencing a hypertensive emergency or symptoms of cardiovascular distress, such as chest pain, trouble breathing, upper body discomfort, or sudden dizziness.
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When Do You Need To Be Hospitalized For High Blood Pressure
Normally, high blood pressure is something you treat by taking pills prescribed by your regular doctor. You then need regular follow-up appointments, and your doctor will adjust your medication based on your blood pressure.
However, there are certain situations when you need to be hospitalized for high blood pressure. Sometimes, your regular doctor will send you to the hospital out of concern. At other times, you may visit the emergency department for some concerning symptoms and the ER doctor gets you hospitalized for dangerously high blood pressure.
When you have dangerously high blood pressure, you need urgent evaluation by a doctor. Dangerously high blood pressure has been arbitrarily defined as blood pressure higher than 180/120. The upper number is called systolic blood pressure and the lower number is called the diastolic blood pressure. Any one of the two numbers above that threshold is considered dangerously high blood pressure. However, research has not definitely proven that this cutoff is accurate. The higher your blood pressure is, the more concerned your doctors will be. You will not be automatically hospitalized if you meet those numbers.
The most important factor your doctor will use when deciding hospitalization is the presence of so called end organ damage. High blood pressure may cause problems with multiple organ systems in your body. Dangerously high blood pressure may actually damage one of these vital organs if not treated urgently.
When To Go To The Er For High Blood Pressure
Whether you struggle with high blood pressure on a regular basis or have a one-off high reading, it can be difficult to know when to go to the ER for high blood pressure . But since a hypertensive emergency can lead to organ damage, its important to know when to worry about a blood pressure reading and make the trip to the ER.
Fortunately, there are guidelines you can follow. Here is a list of definitive examples of when to go to the ER for high blood pressure, along with answers to top FAQs regarding high blood pressure.
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How To Manage High Blood Pressure At Home
The best way to manage high blood pressure at home is to adjust your lifestyle. Here are some recommendations:
Regular physical exercise
People with hypertension are advised to engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes every week or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise weekly. Some suitable activities include cycling, jogging, walking, aerobics, and swimming. Strength training is also recommended at least twice a week.
People with high blood pressure should implement a healthy heart diet:
Learn to manage or avoid stress, so that it doesnt impact your blood pressure. A great way to do this would be to adopt a few relaxation skills such as meditation, yoga, warm baths, or taking long walks. You should avoid consuming alcohol, smoking, and taking recreational drugs to cope with stress, which can contribute to elevated blood pressure.
Doctors often recommend specific medication to manage high blood pressure levels. The type of medication you will take depends on the individual and your underlying medical conditions. Ensure you carefully read the labels and only use medication prescribed by a medical practitioner.