What is Hypertensive Emergency? Know About Symptoms, Causes And Risks

Hypertension could lead to emergency situation in number of conditions, know about malignant hypertension and its risk factors here.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 24, 2022Updated at: May 24, 2022
What is Hypertensive Emergency? Know About Symptoms, Causes And Risks

High blood pressure or hypertension is a common problem that affects numerous people around the world. High blood pressure is caused because of a number of conditions that we have already told you in previous articles. The factors that get affected and leads to abnormal levels of blood sugar can include conditions when the systolic blood pressure in over 130 or the diastolic blood pressure is consistently over 80 mark. As we are conducting a month-long campaign to raise awareness about hypertension and conditions, know what happens when you have a rapid rise in blood pressure without any particular reason. It is not common that you have rapid rise in blood pressure but if it happens then you have a situation of emergency. This condition is known as hypertensive emergency or Malignant Hypertension. Today we will look at this condition in more detail and know tips to prevent it.  

What is Malignant Hypertension? 

We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to know about malignant hypertension. High blood pressure is a condition that occurs to people that have some underlying condition such as diabetes or abnormal heart rate, etc. could cause malignant hypertension. High blood pressure is generally manageable and you do not require any doctor’s attention immediately, however in case of malignant hypertension, it is actually a crisis situation. A person that has high blood pressure could actually affect a lot of other organs such as the following- 

  • Eye 
  • Brain 
  • Heart 
  • Kidney 

Hypertensive emergency could actually lead you to hospital, otherwise it might even worsen the case if medical attention is not given.  


Complications of Hypertensive Emergency 

This condition could actually cause serious damage to your organs because the blood pressure level goes to abnormal rate and thus affects your organs. Here are some complications that you could fall for if medical attention is not provided immediately.  

  • Heart stroke 
  • Stroke 
  • Blindness 
  • Kidney failure 

Also Read- 5 Frequently Asked Questions On Low Blood Pressure Answered!

What are symptoms of Hypertensive Emergency? 

High blood pressure can actually become a silent killer. This is because of the reason that normal hypertension does not have any evident symptoms before increase in blood pressure. The signs and symptoms are also very mild or generic that may not particularly take your attention towards hypertension. Unlike moderate hypertension, malignant hypertension actually has higher amount of symptoms- 

  • Chest pain 
  • Confusion 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Blurred or change in vision 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Less urine output 
  • Headache 
  • Numbness, weakness in arms, legs or face 

What is Hypertensive emergency

Causes of Hypertensive Emergency 

Hypertensive emergencies mostly affect people that are vulnerable to a history of increased blood pressure or conditions that could cause it. Hypertensive emergency is more common in males than in females. It can also occur more commonly towards people who have tendency to smoke and develop disorders. People that have blood pressure problems and constantly have numbers over 140/90 mm Hg. According to doctor, only 2-3 % of people that have hypertension actually develop hypertensive emergency.   

A hypertensive emergency can also lead to person to a condition named hypertensive encephalopathy. This actually affects your brain and could worsen the symptoms of your disorder. You may have the following complications in this type of hypertension- 

  • Lethargy behavior 
  • Seizures 
  • Severe kinds of headaches 
  • Blurry vision 
  • Confusion or mental slowness

Also Read- How To Control Blood Pressure In 3 Minutes? Know From Expert

What could increase chances of Hypertensive Emergency? 

  1. Having a kidney failure or kidney disorder 
  2. Overdose or use of drugs on a regular basis such as cocaine, birth control pill or monoamine oxidase inhibitors 
  3. In case of pregnancy 
  4. Preeclampsia that is common towards gestation 
  5. In terms of autoimmune diseases or disorders 
  6. People with spinal cord injuries causing parts of nervous system to become overactive  
  7. Renal stenosis that is caused because or narrowing of arteries present in the kidney 
  8. Not taking your medications of high BP 
  9. Narrowing of aorta or if the main blood vessel leaves the heart 
  10. Not taking your medication on time, especially of hypertension

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