High blood pressure symptoms: Change in breathing could be sign of a hypertensive crisis

High blood pressure doesn’t usually show any symptoms, so having it regularly checked is very important. Blood pressure can be measured by your GP or at a local pharmacist, and blood pressure monitors are also available to buy to have at home. It’s important to find out if you have high blood pressure, because serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications can occur. A hypertensive crisis is a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke.

Being short of breath is a symptom of a hypertensive crisis

Extremely high blood pressure can damage blood vessels. The blood vessels become inflamed and may leak fluid or blood, and as a result, the heart may not be able to pump blood effectively.

But a hypertensive crisis is divided into two categories. Mayo Clinic explains: “A hypertensive crisis is divided into two categories: urgent and emergency.

“In an urgent hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high, but you doctor doesn’t suspect you have any damage to your organs.

“In an emergency hypertensive crisis, your blood pressure is extremely high and has caused damage to your organs.

“An emergency hypertensive crisis can be associated with life-threatening complications.”

The clinic notes a change of breathing as a symptom of an emergency hypertensive crisis to watch out for – being short of breath.

Someone short of breath may also have a tight and heavy chest, pain that spreads to the arms, back, neck and jaw, and a feeling they’re going to be sick.

Other symptoms of a hypertensive crisis to watch out for include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

The clinic advises: “If you experience a severe increase in your blood pressure, seek immediate medical attention.

“Treatment for hypertensive crisis may include hospitalisation for treatment with oral or intravenous medications.”

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers – the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.

The systolic pressure (the higher number on a reading) is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body.

The diastolic pressure (the lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

Ideal blood pressure is usually considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher (or 150/90mmHg or higher if you’re over the age of 80).

Extremely high blood pressure is considered to be 180/120mmHg or higher.

Diet can play a big part in reducing blood pressure, and drinking a certain green juice has proven effective. 

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