What to know about dangerously high blood pressure

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Blood pressure is a vital health indicator that measures the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries as it circulates.

Maintaining a normal blood pressure is essential because it ensures that your organs and tissues get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well.

However, when blood pressure rises too high, it can lead to a dangerous condition known as hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Often termed the “silent killer,” hypertension can cause severe health issues like strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure, often without noticeable symptoms for a long time.

It’s important to recognize the signs of extremely high blood pressure, also called a hypertensive crisis, which demands urgent medical attention. This crisis occurs when blood pressure soars above 180/120 mm Hg. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Severe headaches: These headaches are often among the worst a person will experience and can appear suddenly.
  • Chest pain: High blood pressure may strain the heart, causing chest pain or discomfort, indicating the heart might not be getting enough oxygen.
  • Difficulty breathing: This can happen if high blood pressure affects the heart’s ability to pump blood.
  • Nosebleeds: Though nosebleeds can have various causes, in a hypertensive crisis, they tend to occur spontaneously and are hard to control.
  • Severe anxiety: High blood pressure can trigger feelings of panic or a sense of impending doom.
  • Vision changes: This may include blurry or double vision, or even temporary loss of sight, if high blood pressure damages the eye’s blood vessels.
  • Nausea or vomiting: These symptoms are particularly concerning if they accompany any of the other signs of a hypertensive crisis.

These symptoms suggest that the body’s organs are at immediate risk due to the high pressure. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek emergency medical care immediately.

The lack of early symptoms is why regular monitoring of blood pressure is critical. Many people with high blood pressure do not realize they have it until it causes significant health issues.

Regular medical check-ups are advised, especially for those at higher risk of hypertension, such as individuals with a family history of heart disease, those who are overweight, or live unhealthy lifestyles.

Preventing and detecting high blood pressure early are key to managing it. Lifestyle adjustments, such as eating less salt, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, and not smoking, can effectively manage or even prevent high blood pressure.

For those already diagnosed with hypertension, it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice, take prescribed medications, and monitor your blood pressure at home to avoid a hypertensive crisis.

These steps can help maintain your blood pressure within a safe range and greatly reduce the risk of severe health complications.

In summary, understanding the symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure is essential for quick response in emergencies. Regular health screenings and proactive lifestyle management are crucial for preventing hypertension and maintaining good health.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies that black licorice could cause dangerous high blood pressure, and this common plant nutrient could help reduce high blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about how coffee influence your risk of high blood pressure, and results showing this olive oil could reduce blood pressure in healthy people.

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