As is suggested by the name, Hypertensive Crisis is distresses people with hypertension. It’s a condition which is characterized with a rapid increase in blood pressure. Undeniably, it is an exceptionally serious condition which even causes heart strokes. High blood pressure or hypertension patients are constantly warned about this for they are most likely to suffer from it. It may affect just 1% of the total population suffering from hypertension, though researchers believe that it will be more prominent in the coming years. People with uncontrolled hypertension and those who have never suffered from high blood pressure can also be affected by this condition.
Symptoms of Hypertensive Crisis
When somebody’s blood pressure shoots up to 180/110 mm Hg or even higher, this condition is instigated. In some cases, it elevates to 220/140 mm Hg and causes multiple organ failure. The symptoms consist of respiratory problems, tightness in chest, acute headache, change in consciousness, chest pain, speech disorder, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
Rise in blood pressure can even cause bleeding in aneurysms which ends in brain damage. Seizures, mental confusion and brain damage are possible consequences; inflammation of brain, changes in mood and fluid-filled lungs are some of the other problems that could arise. In worse cases, the patient could go into comatose. Fluid accumulation in tissues due to increase of blood flow can lead to inflammation. As a consequence, Pulmonary Edema gets developed in the lungs which could be life-threatening.
In severe cases, this condition could be considered an emergency. Pulmonary Edema patients are normally regarded as emergency patients. Severe headaches, breathing problems, chest compactness are treated as emergency Hypertension Crisis patients. Doctors determine the stage of the illness through blood tests and physical exams. HC can lead to strokes, kidney failure, damage to the blood vessels and organ failure so it is important to address the condition as soon as possible. Blood pressure should be brought down to a normal level and in case of an emergency, treatment needs to be stronger. Other than the blood pressure, organs are examined to check if they have been damaged and a subsequent surgery is performed to fix what’s broken. Thereafter, it is followed up and managed to avoid complications.
Causes of Hypertensive Crisis
There could be a number of causes of Hypertension Crisis. A few have been described below:
- Discontinuation of hypertension medications abruptly, especially by people who suffer from high blood pressure.
- Underlying disorders like chronic pyelonephritis, primary glomerulonephritis and renal parenchymal conditions elevate BP.
- Hypertension that occurs after a surgery could also be a reason of HC.
- Endocrine conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, primary hyperaldosteronism and Pheochromocytoma increase blood pressure too.
- Taking medicines such as cyclosporin, cocaine and amphetamines lead to high blood pressure.
- Systematic disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis
- In pregnant women, there is a rapid increase in BP sometimes which is known as Eclampsia.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypertensive Crisis
To diagnose this condition, the doctors begin their inspection by first asking about medical history and lifestyle of the patients. Also, they question them about any surgeries they might have undergone and herbal or dietary supplements that they might be taking. All this gives them a better understanding of the disease. Additionally, blood and urine tests are performed to evaluate the damage to any of the organs and monitor the blood pressure. Furthermore, eye exam is carried out to check for bleeding or internal inflammation. Also, blood pressure is monitored regularly.
There are some conditions that show similar symptoms like Hypertension Crisis gives way to. Differential diagnosis are performed to determine without a doubt that it is indeed HC and not some other condition such as acute stroke, Eclampsia, Preeclampsia, Hypertensive Encephalopathy, unstable Angina and acute aortic separation.
If the condition of the patient is critical, doctors administer medication through injection or give them intravenous drip. For several hours the condition is monitored and blood pressure is brought down to a safe level. After the patients respond to the blood pressure medicines in a positive manner, they follow up with your doctor and arrange for better measures to control it. Patients might also require oral medicines after their BP comes to normal to keep it that way. High blood pressure patient is susceptible to multiple organ failure so they should be hospitalized without any delay – they need parenteral therapy to bring their blood pressure level down and address symptoms. Neurologic and cardiac tests can detect damages to the brain and heart respectively.
Complications and Prevention of Hypertensive Crisis
A number of complications arise due to Hypertension Crisis. Cardiac impairment or heart failure leading to death is one of the complications. Besides that, hypertension emergency can cause renal failure and neurological damage too; haemorrhage, cerebrovascular accident and hypertensive encephalopathy could be life threatening.
In order to prevent this condition, the patient should take his medicines as prescribed by the doctor and in case any symptoms of HC are noticed, you should seek medical attention immediately. Frequent check-ups and light exercises help avert HC.