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High blood pressure symptoms: Seven signs you may be having a deadly hypertensive crisis

Such a dramatic hike in blood pressure can lead to a deadly stroke. Make sure you’re aware of all seven warning signs – listed here.

The Mayo Clinic stated that a life-threatening episode could cause the blood vessels within the body to become inflamed and leak fluid or blood.

1. Chest pain

If you’re suffering from extremely high blood pressure, you may experience severe chest pain.

2. Headache, confusion and blurred vision

A deadly hypertensive crisis could reveal itself in a severe headache, accompanied by confusion and blurred vision.

3. Nausea

Rocketing blood pressure can make you feel nauseous and you may actually vomit.

4. Anxiety

Are you feeling a sense of crippling anxiety? This could be a symptom of extremely high blood pressure.

5. Difficulty breathing

Suffering from shortness of breath could be an indication that your blood pressure readings would be off the charts.

6. Seizures

People who are having a hypertensive crisis may experience seizures – a change in the brain’s electrical activity.

7. Unresponsiveness

This is when the person becomes unresponsive to their surroundings, including other people.

A hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency, so you must dial 999 for anybody experiencing these symptoms.

What causes a hypertensive crisis?

The Mayo Clinic puts forward various reasons as to why somebody would suddenly experience a dramatic increase in blood pressure.

One of the culprits could be forgetting to take your blood pressure medication.

Alternatively, it could be indicative of other serious health conditions; stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure.


The NHS explained a stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain has been cut off.

When blood supply to the brain is cut off, brain cells begin to die which can lead to brain injury, disability and possibly death.

Heart attack

A heart attack takes place when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked, states the NHS.

A lack of blood to the heart muscle can cause serious damage, and it can also be life threatening.

Heart failure

The NHS explained that when the heart becomes too weak or stiff, it’s unable to pump blood around the body.

Kidney failure

The national health body explained kidney failure is when the kidneys stop working.

This means the two bean-shaped organs (kidneys) will not be able to filter the blood and remove waste products.

Another possibility for a hypertensive crisis could be a result of a rupture in the body’s main artery – the aorta.

It could also be caused by the interaction between medications. Whatever the cause, you’ll need medical assistance.

The Mayo Clinic detailed that treatment for a hypertensive crisis may include hospitalisation.

During hospitalisation, it’s common to receive oral or intravenous medications.

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  • Posted on August 2, 2020