Does high blood pressure cause headaches?

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Older Britons will want to keep one eye on a blood pressure monitor as they age. Monitors will help them stay healthy and avoid complications from potentially dangerous diseases caused by pressure spikes. Without them, they have to watch out for potential symptoms, and these often indicate when pressure is reaching critical levels.

Does high blood pressure cause headaches?

High blood pressure is known as hypertension in the scientific world and rarely presents with symptoms at first.

Roughly a third of adults in the UK will develop it without knowing at some point and may not become aware until a doctor points it out.

They will measure blood pressure with charts that specify which range is healthy, too high or too low.

The ideal blood pressure range is 120/80 mmHg (millimetres of mercury).

Anything below 90/60mmHg is considered too low, and above 140/90mmHg too high.

In those aged over 80, the high blood pressure benchmark is 150/90mmHg.

Headaches don’t typically rank amongst hypertension symptoms but often indicate when high blood pressure has reached emergency levels, known as a hypertensive crisis.

People may be in the midst of a hypertensive crisis when they experience the following symptoms:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe headache
  • Confusion and blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness

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A hypertensive crisis may develop following several prompts.

These could include forgetting to take medication, having a heart attack or heart failure, experiencing kidney failure, aortic rupture, eclampsia or interaction between medicines.

Doctors treat hypertensive crises as “urgent” or an emergency.

An urgent crisis is the lesser of the two and suggests extreme high blood pressure has not yet caused organ damage.

Symptoms of a hypertensive emergency develop when blood pressure has started causing extensive organ damage.

According to the British Medical Journal, doctors treat these emergencies by lowering pressure quickly and placing patients in intensive care.

They have to reduce the total by 25 percent within one minute to an hour if possible.

Within the next two to six hours, they will reduce stable patients pressure further to the “normal” range.

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