Feeling like your headaches have a connection with elevated blood pressure levels? Read this article to know more about the condition and the steps to manage it.
- Hypertension can lead to severe headaches, which are located at particular parts of the head.
- These headaches may or not indicate an underlying issue and can be accompanied by several symptoms.
- On the basis of severity, these headaches, along with high blood pressure, can lead to brain and organ damage.
- Prevention of HBP-related problems is simple and needs minimal effort.
If you have a long history of high blood pressure, you must know how worse a minimal headache can feel. Managing this condition sometimes seems even more difficult and can be painful.
Headaches can be triggered by HBP because of a pulsing sensation and can be felt over the head. These headaches can or cannot be a sign of worry and indicate several other diseases.
To know more about these headaches, why they happen and what are the risk factors, keep reading!
What Are Headaches Due To High Blood Pressure?
Headaches caused due to elevated blood pressure levels can lead to damage in the brain (hypertensive encephalopathy). These headaches are a result of constriction in the cerebral blood vessels and their quick relaxation.
This constriction and relaxation can damage the blood vessels as well as cerebral oedema. The increase in intracranial pressure ultimately leads to headaches.
A high blood pressure headache differs from other headaches that you may have experienced. It can also lead to several life-threatening conditions.
What Does HBP Headache Feel Like?
Apart from the pulsing sensation that HBP can cause, the headaches can be severe and accompanied by chest pain and shortness of breath. These are usually sudden and throbbing.
High blood pressure headaches can be triggered depending on the hour of the day. These can be worse during the morning or when one coughs or strains. It is also noticed that high blood pressure due to headaches may improve when standing up. This condition also may lead to temporary vision loss.
In case of eye-related problems, vision may suddenly become dark or grey for a couple of seconds. It is important to take regular readings and analyse them using a chart to know the right trends of an individual’s blood pressure.
Where Are HBP Headaches Located?
The different types of headaches can range from mild to severe in terms of pain. A mild headache can be caused by blood pressure ranging from 140 to 150/90 to 99 mmHg, while moderate ranges from 160 to 170/100 to 109 mmHg.
It is to be noted that chronic arterial hypertension does not appear to be a cause of headaches.
On the other hand, paroxysmal headaches are usually throbbing and claw-like. These are usually located in the head’s occipital or frontal region.
Symptoms Of HBP Headaches
Depending upon the condition, these headaches may or may not have any symptoms. Some of the pains due to elevated blood pressure may be accompanied by palpitations, perspiration, facial pallor and anxiety.
Some other symptoms may or may not include the following:
- Nose bleeding
- Blood spots in eyes
- Flushed face
- Shortness of breath
- Back pain
These symptoms are generally observed when the blood pressure fluctuation occurs suddenly.
Relieving Hypertension Headache
When suspecting a hypertensive headache, there are many things that one needs to handle carefully. As a precautionary measure, follow these steps-
- Using a sphygmomanometer, measure the blood pressure.
- After five minutes, take the readings again.
- In case of constant elevation, take a doctor’s prescription or seek medical help immediately.
In case of the condition’s severity, intravenous blood pressure medications can be administered to ensure that there is no sign of organ or tissue damage. Medical professionals may also try to lower BP at a safe pace. This is done gradually since quick lowering can result in a shortage of blood supply to the organs.
Once the blood pressure returns to normal, the headache should subside, and other medications may be prescribed.
Don’ts for relieving hypertension-caused headaches
One should not consume painkillers to avoid headaches in such a condition. Moreover, unprescribed medicines can also lead to problems, so one should be cautious enough not to use them.
A prescribed medicine can be taken to relieve the headache until a doctor is available, but it shouldn’t be completely relied on.
Complications Related To HBP Headaches
If this condition goes untreated for a long period of time, high blood pressure headaches can cause malignant hypertension.
This kind of hypertension can lead to organ failure, hypertensive encephalopathy, stroke, heart attacks, retinopathy, pulmonary oedema and aortic dissection.
Prevention of Hypertensive Headache
The first and foremost steps to prevent high blood pressure-related headaches is to constantly monitor the changes in BP and lead an active lifestyle.
It is not possible to prevent a hypertensive situation but taking medications on time, avoiding illicit drugs like amphetamines and cocaine, and eating a healthy diet can help in the process.
For anyone with an elevated blood pressure level, it is necessary to limit alcohol consumption, manage stress, and get enough sleep to avoid facing any complications.
High blood pressure can easily lead to multiple health problems. Headache is generally observed in individuals with elevated BP. It can be easy to manage this condition through improvements in lifestyle and medications.
One should always remember to ask for medical help as soon as possible in such conditions as they can be indicative of severe unlying disease. Remember NOT TO TAKE any medication without the prescription of a doctor.