If your doctor has diagnosed you with hypertension, or high blood pressure, then you may at a heightened risk for developing cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure rarely causes symptoms, and this is why it is so hard to understand how it can be so dangerous. There are, however, a few symptoms of high blood pressure that may develop in those with hypertension that is long-standing or poorly managed. Here are three emergency warning signs of hypertension and what you can do about them:
When blood pressure spikes to dangerous elevations, you may develop a posterior nosebleed. This type of bloody nose is different from an anterior nosebleed because the bleeding starts high up in the nose, and instead of flowing down toward your nostrils, the blood flows down the back of your throat.
This type of nosebleed is hard to control, and treatment usually consists of packing the nostrils with gauze, and sometimes, cauterizing the small blood vessels inside the nose. If you develop a posterior nosebleed, visit the nearest walk-in clinic, such as MED7 Urgent Care Center. There, your bleeding will be managed, and the medical staff will evaluate your blood pressure. If it is very high, you may be given an anti-hypertensive medication to lower your readings, and your condition will be monitored until you are stable enough to go home.
Swollen ankles, or lower extremity edema, may be another symptom of hypertension. If your lower legs, especially your ankles, suddenly swell up, take a trip to an urgent care clinic. This may mean that your blood pressure is too high and that it is causing circulation problems.
It may also mean that you have a blood clot, or venous thrombosis, especially if the swelling is present in only one leg. The staff at the walk-in medical clinic may perform a painless, non-invasive ultrasound study of your legs to assess blood flow. They will then monitor your blood pressure and treat your hypertension with medication if necessary. You may also receive a diuretic medication to help your body release excess fluid, which will help decrease lower leg edema.
While mild to moderate hypertension rarely causes headaches, a hypertensive crisis or a dangerous rise in blood pressure may. Headaches associated with a hypertensive crisis may develop on both sides of your head, and the pain may throb or pulsate.
Although your pain may be the result of a cluster, tension, or migraine headache, you should seek medical attention at the nearest urgent care clinic. If the staff determines that you are experiencing a hypertensive crisis, they may administer intravenous drugs to rapidly lower your blood pressure. Other signs of hypertensive crisis may include chest pain, nausea, and blurred vision.
If you have hypertension and develop any of the above symptoms, visit a walk-in clinic. The doctors and nurses will check your blood pressure and administer the necessary treatment so that you are no longer in danger of experiencing a serious cerebrovascular or cardiovascular event.