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High blood pressure affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK – although some of them might not even know they’re at risk. On rare occasions, your blood pressure could spike to very high levels, sparking a hypertensive emergency.

Hypertension itself is usually diagnosed if your blood pressure is above 120/80mmHg.

It’s usually very manageable if you follow doctors’ advice, and make some small changes to your lifestyle.

However, some patients might find their blood pressure jumps to more than 120/180mmHg – a dangerously high reading.

If the reading is accompanied by a series of new symptoms, plavix effects on liver it’s known as a hypertensive emergency.

Any blood pressure above 120/180mmHg could cause permanent damage to your blood vessels.

The symptoms are usually signs that organ damage is occurring at that very moment.

It’s absolutely vital that if you think you’re having a hypertensive emergency, you seek medical help straight away.

There are eight specific symptoms to watch out for, if you have high blood pressure, according to medical website Healthline.

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Symptoms of a hypertensive emergency

  • Changes in vision, including blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms, legs, or face
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Reduced urine output

“Unlike moderate high blood pressure, a hypertensive emergency has very noticeable symptoms,” said the medical website.

“A hypertensive emergency requires immediate medical attention. If you don’t get emergency treatment, you may develop serious health problems.

“Your doctor will ask you about your health history, including any treatments you’re on for high blood pressure.

“They’ll also measure your blood pressure and discuss any symptoms you’re currently having, such as changes in vision, chest pain, or shortness of breath.”

High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’, as symptoms don’t tend to reveal themselves unless you have extremely high blood pressure.

Everyone over 40 years old should check their blood pressure at least once every five years.

You can check your blood pressure by visiting your doctors’ surgery, or by speaking to a pharmacist.

The condition could be managed by making some changes to your diet, or by doing more exercise.

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