Millions of people in the United States have been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), and the number continues to increase each year. If you have chronic hypertension, it can be difficult to know when it may turn into an emergency as the symptoms are not always noticeable. Lack of prompt care in case of a hypertensive crisis can do severe damage to your heart, brain, and other vital organs. So, how do you figure out if you are having a hypertensive crisis or need to go to the ER? In this blog, we’ll explain the common indicators of hypertensive emergency and the right steps to take in this situation.
Tracking Blood Pressure Readings
Hypertension is often referred to as a ‘silent killer’ because it typically does not present with noticeable signs or symptoms. If your blood pressure remains persistently high, you may experience symptoms like frequent headaches, changes in vision, nosebleeds, irregular heartbeat, etc. The best way to know if you have hypertension is to track your blood pressure and schedule regular checkups.
For healthy adults, the normal blood pressure value should be around 120/80mmHg. However, if you measure your blood pressure regularly and notice readings above 130/90mmHg, it is usually a sign of hypertension. Most people can control their blood pressure with regular use of medications and lifestyle changes. However, if your blood pressure shoots to an abnormally high value that strains your body organs, it necessitates emergency treatment.
How To Know If You Are Going Through A Hypertensive Crisis?
It can be difficult to identify if your blood pressure is out of the normal range because it may not present with any symptoms. However, if you are a known hypertensive and notice high readings that are beyond the usual range, it can be a cause of concern.
Different factors can trigger a hypertensive crisis, such as missing a dose of medication, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. It is important to keep track of your blood pressure readings and associated symptoms. Even if you are not experiencing any particular signs but the readings are high, you should visit the ER to be on the safe side.
Symptoms that may indicate a hypertensive emergency include:
- Severe headache
- Change in consciousness
- Irregular heart rate
- Vision changes
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Panic or anxiety
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your nearest ER as soon as possible to receive prompt medical care.
Helpful Ways To Avoid Hypertensive Emergencies
A hypertensive crisis can be life-threatening. By following these steps, you can keep your blood pressure within a normal range:
- Measure your blood pressure on a regular basis so you can keep track of your readings.
- Take your medications on time as suggested by your physician. You can keep reminders to avoid missing a dose.
- If you experience any side effects of the medicines, consult with your physician for an alternative.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep your readings within an acceptable range.
- Schedule regular health checkups so that your healthcare provider can keep an eye out for any abnormal changes.
If you notice an abnormally high blood pressure reading or experience unusual symptoms, visit an ER immediately to get evaluated for hypertensive crisis. Emergency Hospital Systems offers complete care and management for all kinds of medical emergencies. In case of a hypertensive emergency, call us at (281) 592-5410 to receive urgent care.