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At What Blood Pressure Should You Go To The Hospital

How To Know If High Blood Pressure Is An Emergency

7 Measuring blood pressure

If you live with high blood pressure, it can be difficult to know when it becomes an emergency as the symptoms and signs are not always obvious. However, if left unchecked, it can gradually damage your blood vessels, heart, kidney, and other vital body organs. Sudden changes in blood pressure can also cause harm.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood. It is measured by using a blood pressure cuff which is placed around your arm, gradually tightens, and then releases. The results are given in two numbers. A blood pressure reading is given as the systolic blood pressure number over the diastolic blood pressure number . Blood pressure levels are classified based on those two numbers.

In this piece, we share insights into managing high blood pressure, how to know when high blood pressure is an emergency and what to do in case of a high blood pressure emergency.

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Lowering Systolic Blood Pressure More May Cut Health Risks

One major study found that lowering systolic blood pressure to well below the commonly recommended level also greatly lowered the number of cardiovascular events and deaths among people at least 50 years old with high blood pressure.

When study participants achieved a systolic blood pressure target of 120 mmHg compared to the higher target of 140 mmHg recommended for most people, and 150 for people over 60 issues such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure were reduced by almost one-third, and the risk of death by almost one-fourth.

“That’s important information, because more lives may be saved and more deaths may be prevented if we maintain lower blood pressure in certain patients,” says Lynne Braun, NP, PhD, a nurse practitioner at the Rush Heart Center for Women.

Braun cautions, however, that your personal blood pressure target depends on a variety of things, including your current blood pressure, lifestyle, risk factors, other medications you are taking and your age. “Every person has to be evaluated as an individual,” she says. “Realistically, we can’t get everybody down to 120, and trying to do so may create unintended problems.”

It can be dangerous, for instance, to keep an older person on medications that have unsafe side effects, such as diuretics , which can cause dehydration and dizziness in older adults.

And there can be other issues involved with taking multiple medications, such as cost and compliance.

What’s The Danger Zone For High Blood Pressure

The Hypertension Danger ZoneA reading of 140 or higher systolic or 90 or greater diastolic is stage 2 hypertension. You may not have symptoms. If your systolic is over 180 or your diastolic is above over 120, you may be having a hypertensive crisis, which can lead to a stroke, heart attack, or kidney damage…. see more

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Measuring Your Blood Pressure At Home

You can also diagnose yourself with hypertension by measuring your blood pressure at home. If readings are high over two visits at the doctors office, and if your blood pressure is higher than 135/85 mmHg when properly measured at home, then the diagnosis of hypertension can be made. This requires you to measure your blood pressure twice a day, in the morning and evening, for one week. Pay no attention to the measurements from the first day. Measuring blood pressure at home requires accurate equipment and proper measuring techniques. Measure the blood pressure of others in your house their blood pressure may also be high.

What Is Considered Stroke

General advice  AskdoctorD

Stroke, the blocking, leaking, or bursting of blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, is associated with raised blood pressure levels. While there is not a specific reading of blood pressure number associated with stroke, based on what the American Heart Association has designated as dangerous blood pressure levels, you can say that you are more at risk for stroke if your blood pressure reads at 130/80. For comparison, blood pressure readings of 120/80 are considered healthy.

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What Makes Bottom Number Of Blood Pressure High

Diastolic pressure is the bottom number of a blood pressure reading. IDH occurs if someone has elevated diastolic blood pressure, increasing a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke. Smoking, consuming alcohol, obesity, and high blood fat may lead to IDH…. see details

Those factors include diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, smoking, hardening of the arteries , or a history of heart disease or a heart attack…. see details

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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So What Causes Our Blood Pressure To Be Elevated

Our blood pressure can rise transiently in response to a specific situation, or can be elevated more chronically secondary to certain diseases, diet, lifestyle, even aging. The latter is more important for long term health.

Temporary elevations in blood pressure can result from stressful life circumstances such as pain, an argument with a friend, pressure on the job, grief or depression, waiting for your coffee at Starbucks. You get the picture. This is normal, expected, and a part of life.

More sustained elevations in blood pressure can result from chronic conditions such as aging , a diet high in salt , a diet high in cholesterol , hormonal changes, diseases of the brain or kidney the list goes on. It is this long term hypertension, however, that can lead to disease.

The take-home point for our patients here is that, while we cant always control the day to day circumstances that lead to fluctuations in our blood pressure, the main goal is a relatively well-controlled blood pressure over time. It is also important to point out that as we age, and our blood vessels naturally get stiffer, it is normal to have a gradually increasing baseline pressure over time. In other words, healthy blood pressure for a 20-year-old is not the same number as healthy blood pressure for a 70-year-old, and so a healthy range is relative to the patient and their chronic medical conditions.

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Who Is Affected By High Blood Pressure

When to go to the ER for high blood pressure

Approximately 1 in 3, more than 100 million, American adults have high blood pressure. But only half of those people have their condition under control. Many people develop high blood pressure when they are in their late 30s or early 40s, and it occurs more frequently as people age. However, because of the obesity epidemic, more and more children are also developing high blood pressure.

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When You Need To Go To The Er For High Blood Pressure Complete Care Is Here

Knowing when to go to the ER for high blood pressure can help you remain calm in a time of crisis, as can knowing what emergency room to go to when you need help. At Complete Cares freestanding emergency room facilities, we are equipped to take care of all of the emergencies your standard ER handles, but without the wait time. Not only can you rest assured that you will be seen quickly at our facilities, but also that you will be treated with compassion when under our care. We have been nationally recognized for our service.

We have ER locations in both Texas and Colorado . Whether you have an emergency or just a simple health question, we will take complete care of you.

Get in. Get out. Get back to life.

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Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure Spikes

Some people with high blood pressure will experience sharp rises in their blood pressure. These spikes, which typically last only a short period of time, are also known as sudden high blood pressure. These are some possible causes:

  • Certain medications or combinations of medications
  • Chronic kidney disease

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What Happens If I Go To The Er For Covid

When you go to the ER, one of the most important parts of your evaluation will be checking your vital signs, which include:

  • Your oxygen level

  • Your heart rate

  • Your blood pressure

Depending on your vital signs and physical exam, your provider may also run some additional tests to see how the virus is affecting your body. These may include:

  • An X-ray of your lungs to look for signs of pneumonia or fluid

  • A CT scan of your chest to look at the lungs in greater detail, or to check for blood clots

  • An EKG of your heart to look for signs of stress or strain on the heart

  • Blood tests to check your blood counts, kidney function, and electrolytes

After these tests, you and your provider will discuss whether you are safe to continue recovering at home, or you should stay in the hospital for closer monitoring.

What To Do If You Suspect A Hypertensive Crisis


If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing a hypertensive crisis, these are the steps that should be taken:

  • Check your blood pressure.
  • If your blood pressure is elevated to 180/120 or higher and you ARE NOT experiencing any severe symptoms, wait 5 minutes and take it again. Try to relax because anxiety can cause falsely elevated blood pressure readings.
  • If the repeat BP measurement is the same or higher then you should seek medical attention. Call your Primary Care Provider first for instructions on medication adjustment and/or follow-up. If you cannot reach them, go to the Emergency Room.
  • If your blood pressure is elevated to 180/120 or higher and you ARE experiencing warning symptoms then do not wait to recheck your blood pressure and instead you should go immediately to the Emergency Room for evaluation.
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    What Should I Do If My Blood Pressure Is 160 Over 100

    Alicia Brady | Answered August 27, 2021

    Hypertension Stage 2 is when blood pressure is consistently ranging at levels greater than 160/100 mm Hg. At this stage of high blood pressure, doctors are likely to prescribe a combination of blood pressure medications along with lifestyle changes. This is when high blood pressure requires emergency medical attention.

    Medication Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

    Your doctor may recommend medication in addition to lifestyle changes as part of your treatment plan for high blood pressure. There are different types of medications for high blood pressure. You may need to try different ones or use two or more in combination, especially if you experience side effects. And the age to start blood pressure medication varies. Your doctor may suggest medication even for elevated blood pressure if youre 60 or older.

    According to the American Heart Association , these common classes of blood pressure medications can help lower your blood pressure:

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    Common Causes Of Extremely High Blood Pressure

    Lifestyle choices

    Being overweight, consuming a high-fat diet, smoking excessively and drinking alcohol, and specific medication can also raise the risk of hypertension.


    One major cause of hypertension is genetic predisposition. The probability of developing hypertension is higher in adults with a family history of high blood pressure or diabetes, for those with kidney disease, lupus, hyper or hypothyroidism, and obstructive sleep apnea.

    Special situations

    High blood pressure may occur in pregnancy. There are special considerations for children with high blood pressure.

    Good Sleep Can Prevent And Manage High Blood Pressure

    Best Ways To Lower Your High Blood Pressure

    Most people experience a dip in blood pressure during the deepest stage of sleep , which is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to sleep. Not having that nighttime dip is a risk factor for heart disease and may increase daytime blood pressure.

    Typically people spend 90 minutes to two hours in slow wave sleep per night. A recent study published in Hypertension found that men who got less slow wave sleep each night were a higher risk for hypertension than men who got more deep sleep.

    While sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and age can both affect the amount of deep sleep you get, there are steps you can take to ensure a good night’s sleep. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and being more active during the day can help improve the quality of your sleep.

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    What Is A Silent Stroke

    What do you mean? A. Silent strokes are strokes that do not cause any noticeable symptoms . Most strokes are caused by blood clots that block blood vessels in the brain. The obstruction prevents blood and oxygen from reaching the area and kills nearby brain cells.

    How Do I Know I Have It

    It is a medical condition with negligible physical symptoms, but it can quietly damage different body parts of the patient. The best way to monitor your hearts health is to measure your blood pressure levels regularly. You can do it easily, even at your home.

    Blood pressure readings are in millimeters of mercury . The top number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heartbeats. The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart rests between beats. As long as a person measures their blood pressure correctly, the results are just as reliable as a doctors measurement.

    The following table, from the American Heart Association , shows the classification of high blood pressure in adults:

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    What Is Considered Stroke Level High Blood Pressure

    Lorene Hamilton | Answered December 8, 2020

    Call 911 or emergency medical services if your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or greater and you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or symptoms of stroke. Stroke symptoms include numbness or tingling, trouble speaking, or changes in vision.Aug 3, 2022

    Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure

    Does digital BP monitor show correct result?

    High blood pressure does not always cause symptomswhich is why it can be dangerous.

    It is sometimes referred to as a silent killer since it can reach life-threatening levels without many obvious warning signs.

    If you do have signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, they most likely wont show up until your blood pressure is very high.

    The following are more likely to be signs of hypertensive crises, and include the following symptoms:

    The only definitive way to know if your blood pressure is high is to have it checked regularly.

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    What Is A Dangerous Blood Pressure

    If your blood pressure is 130/80, you have high blood pressure . High blood pressure in stage 2 is defined as 140/90 or greater. If you have a blood pressure measurement of 180/110 or above on many occasions, seek medical attention immediately. A reading this high is referred to as a “hypertensive crisis.”

    The two main types of high blood pressure are primary and secondary. In primary hypertension there is no apparent cause for the elevated blood pressure. Some factors may increase the risk of having primary hypertension, including being male, age 35 or older, of black or African American race, or having a parent with history of hypertension. The risk decreases if you are female, younger than 35 years old, white, or have a family history of low blood pressure.

    Secondary hypertension causes excess fluid retention in the body with subsequent rise in blood pressure. Secondary hypertension can be due to any number of conditions, such as kidney disease, thyroid problems, and use of medication like epinephrine and amphetamines.

    Even if you have normal blood pressure at rest, you may still have hypertension if the top number on the measurement is higher than 120/80. It is important to note that this number does not take into account how long you have had your pressure checked.

    Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This means that you are at increased risk for heart attack or stroke.

    How Common Is High Blood Pressure

    High blood pressure is a common condition, it is estimated that 18% of adult men and 13% of adult women have high blood pressure but are not getting treatment for it.

    In 90-95% of cases, there is no single identifiable reason for a rise in blood pressure. But all available evidence shows that lifestyle plays a significant role in regulating your blood pressure.

    Risk factors for high blood pressure include:

    • being overweight
    • excessive alcohol consumption.

    Also, for reasons not fully understood, people of Afro-Caribbean and South Asian origin are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other ethnic groups.

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