11/03/2021 / Heart & Vascular

How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly in an Emergency?

Elevated blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a chronic condition in which the blood pressure against the arterial walls is continuously high. The normal blood pressure of a healthy adult is 120/80 mm Hg.

How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly in an Emergency?
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Elevated blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a chronic condition in which the blood pressure against the arterial walls is continuously high. The normal blood pressure of a healthy adult is 120/80 mm Hg. When it exceeds 140/90 mm Hg, it is called hypertension, and if it reaches above 180/120 mm Hg, the condition becomes severe and requires immediate intervention. Usually, patients suffering from hypertension are prescribed antihypertensive medications (such as prinzide) to check their blood pressure. The abnormal increase of blood pressure can occur when someone abruptly stopped taking their medications or due to poorly managed blood pressure. 

Symptoms Of Sudden High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is also called the silent killer as it has no obvious clinical symptoms. However, when the blood pressure has severely elevated in a very short time, the patient may suffer from:

  • Headache

  • Blurred Vision

  • Nausea and Vomiting

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Flushed Face

  • Chest Pain

  • Loss of Balance (spinning sensations, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, or dizziness)

Cause of High Blood Pressure

Many factors can contribute to increased blood pressure such as:

  • Too much salt in the diet

  • Being overweight or Obese

  • Smoking

  • Lack of Physical Exercise

  • Alcohol Consumption

  • Stress

  • Sleep Deprivation

Types of Hypertensive Crisis

There are two types of high blood pressure crises; hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency. Both of these are characterized by elevated blood pressure.

Hypertensive Emergency

in case of hypertensive urgency, the increased blood pressure may cause organ damage (including eyes, brain, blood vessels, kidney, and heart).

Hypertensive Urgency

Whereas, in hypertensive emergency, no signs and symptoms of acute organ damage are observed. Such patients' blood pressure must be lowered immediately to stop the progressive damage of the target organs. 

 Prescribed any antihypertensive medicine to Lower Blood Pressure in an Emergency

Immediate Medical Therapy to Lower the Blood Pressure

Immediate medical intervention is needed for the patients suffering from a hypertensive emergency to prevent organ damage. In such situations, the first and foremost medical treatment is to provide the drug labetol (an adrenergic receptor) through intravenous injections or oral ingestion. This drug helps in decreasing the blood pressure by causing dilation of the blood vessels and does not compromise with the cerebral blood flow. Other vasodilators such as nitroglycerin and nitroprusside are also used to manage hypertensive emergencies. 

Always consult with your Healthcare Provider or Doctor before consuming any medicine.

However, it should be noted that a slow and steady approach is required to lower down the blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure too quickly is dangerous as the blood vessels carry blood to all the vital organs of the body including the brain. A sudden drop of blood pressure may stop the blood flow up to the brain, thereby disrupting the continuous flow of nutrients (mainly glucose) and oxygen to the brain. This can lead to a stroke or even permanent brain damage.

Immediate Treatment for High Blood Pressure at Home Until You Get Help?

These Tips will help you in lowering down the blood pressure in emergency before the medical help arrives.

  • The patient should stay calm and composed. This might be difficult for the patient but staying calm can actually lower down the blood pressure. It is advised to the patient to sit down in a relaxed position and take a few deep breaths, hold them for few seconds and then release them.

Stay calm and breath to lower blood pressure
  • A small cup of chamomile or hibiscus tea is found effective in lowering down the elevated blood pressure quickly. Although, strictly avoid coffee and black tea.

  • If the patient has already been prescribed any antihypertensive medicine by his/ her doctor, it should be taken immediately.

  • A piece of dark chocolate can help in lowering the blood pressure by making the patient calm as it triggers the release of the endorphin hormone.

  • Berries (such as blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) help improve the blood pressure as they are loaded with polyphenols which are great for the heart.

  • Lying down on the bed also helps in lowering down the blood pressure because when a person lies down, his heart and head becomes aligned, so the heart does not have to exert excessive pressure to make the blood reach his head. This reduces the load on the heart and thereby decreases the blood pressure.  

  • A minimum of six hours of uninterrupted sleep is required by an individual for the normal functioning of the body. Sleep also helps in regulating the stress hormone, hence lowering down the blood pressure naturally. 

Sleep Well

Also Read: High Blood Pressure or hypertension: When to Seek Emergency Care

Lowering Blood Pressure Over Time

Acquiring a healthy lifestyle can help in lowering down the blood pressure over time and does not allow a medical emergency to occur. Some simple yet effective recommendations are:

  • Exercising daily for at least thirty minutes helps in getting the blood pressure under control.

  • Too much salt in a person’s diet is a major cause of hypertension. The daily salt intake should be less than 2 grams to keep the high blood pressure checked

  • Liming alcohol intake (not more than one or two drinks per day) also helps in lowering down blood pressure over time.

  • Stress reduction must be a priority for managing high blood pressure as being stressed is directly linked to elevated blood pressure. Walking outside in the garden, listening to relaxing music, taking a warm shower, etc. helps in reducing stress.

A Word of Wisdom

Elevated blood pressure is an emergency condition, so one should not try to immediately lower down the blood pressure on its own and medical help should be called as there is no fast and safe way to lower down hypertension. However, staying calm can actually lower down the blood pressure. It is advised that you should sit down in a relaxed position and take a few deep breaths, hold them for few seconds and then release them. 

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