20/11/2023 / Heart & Vascular

How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly in an Emergency?

Know immediate treatment for high blood pressure at home. Discover 7 emergency treatments and 15 other ways to lower blood pressure at home.

How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly in an Emergency
Mohammad AqdusMohammad Aqdus
Mohammad Aqdus
Medical Student, Research Associate
Medically Cited
Fact Checked

Table of Content


Hypertension is a chronic condition in which your blood pressure remains high (>140/90, systolic/diastolic). Hypertension is controlled by medications and behavioural modifications like diet, exercise, meditation etc. 

Sometimes Blood pressure can become uncontrollable either because of non-compliance to medication, stress, hormonal imbalance or kidney problems. Uncontrolled hypertension can present with organ damage called a hypertensive emergency or Increased blood pressure with no organ damage called a Hypertensive Urgency. Either way, you can employ techniques and home remedies for high blood pressure to lower blood pressure.

In this blog, we’ll cover How to lower blood pressure instantly in an emergency, Home remedies for high blood pressure, first aid for high blood pressure, and immediate treatment for high blood pressure at home which you can use to reduce high blood pressure fast.

How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly in an Emergency?

If you are searching for How to lower blood pressure instantly in an emergency, There are two ways that can be practised to lower blood pressure instantly.

  1. Medical treatment: Medical intervention is needed in cases of hypertensive emergencies, and high blood pressure accompanied by end-organ damage, like if you have nose bleeds or neurological symptoms with high blood pressure. Emergency medical intervention is required in these cases, we’ll be covering these also in subsequent sections.

  2. Home remedies: There can be effective Home remedies for high blood pressure which can be used for Emergency treatment for high blood pressure at home. We’ll be discussing these remedies in upcoming sections. These home remedies must only be used in cases of hypertensive urgency or mild blood pressure rise.

What is High Blood Pressure in an Emergency?

Hypertension is defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mm hg(systolic/diastolic), there are various stages of hypertension which are mentioned below: 

What is High Blood Pressure in an Emergency?
  • Stage 1 Hypertension:

Systolic: Between 130 and 139 mm Hg

Diastolic: Between 80 and 89 mm Hg

  • Stage 2 Hypertension:

Systolic: More than 140 mm Hg

Diastolic: More than 90 mm Hg

  • Hypertensive Crisis:

Systolic: Higher than 180 mm Hg

Diastolic: Higher than 120 mm Hg

When a Hypertensive crisis occurs immediate medical intervention is needed, one should not go for Home remedies for high blood pressure

What are the Types of High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure or Hypertension can be of various types and stages(as discussed above) depending on how much blood pressure rise happens above normal level:

  • Mild to moderate High pressure: Mild or Moderate rise in blood pressure, usually stage I or stage II hypertension can be controlled by home remedies for high blood pressure and long-term therapies for control of High BP.

  • Hypertensive Urgency: A hypertensive emergency occurs when Blood pressure is >180/120 mm hg but no end organ damage. In this case, we can follow first aid for high blood pressure and emergency treatment for high blood pressure at home. One must remember, that if the blood pressure reading is 180/110 mm hg and no severe symptoms are visible then wait for 5 minutes and take reading again. If after practising the techniques mentioned in the section below, your blood pressure reading becomes normal or near normal you can relax and can take your time to visit the nearest doctor. If blood pressure doesn’t become normal or near normal then immediately visit your doctor, since it may progress to end organ damage.

  • Hypertensive emergency: Hypertensive Emergency means a blood pressure >180/120, with severe symptoms like nose bleeds and Neurological symptoms. In this condition, Only medical intervention works and one should immediately consult a doctor without reattempting to take Blood pressure readings again. 

Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Pressure in Emergency

You should always go for regular checkups if you have complaints of high BP. Normally mild or moderate rise in BP presents with nausea, fatigue, headache etc. Some of the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure in an emergency include: 

  • Headache

  • Chest pain

  • Difficulty Breathing

  • Severe anxiety

  • Seizures

  • Visual changes

  • Weakness

  • Sweating

  • Clouding of Consciousness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Bleeding from Nose

What are the Causes of High Blood Pressure in Emergency?

There can be many causes of high blood pressure in emergency or acute hypertension. Usually, those already taking medication or have mild or moderate High Blood pressure are at more risk of developing hypertensive urgency or emergency. Before knowing immediate treatment for high blood pressure at home, we must understand the causes of high blood pressure:

  1. Sudden stress or Anxiety: Anxiety and Stress can activate the sympathetic system(fight or flight) in our body which can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure.

  2. Noncompliance to medications: If you’re on medications for hypertension, it can lead to fluctuations in your blood pressure.

  3. Kidney abnormalities: The kidney is an important organ for blood pressure regulation, any abnormalities in the kidney can lead to blood pressure irregularities. 

  4. Some Medications can cause High blood pressure: Some medicines like corticosteroids, birth control pills, and thyroid medications. The amount of blood pressure rise will depend on several factors like age, underlying conditions and overall health.

  5. Recent Surgery: Surgery or certain diagnostic tests can cause a rise in blood pressure due to the stress response of the body (sympathetic system).

7 Immediate Treatment for high blood pressure at home

We have discussed all the points related to high blood pressure in Emergency. Now the question comes, How to lower blood pressure instantly in an emergency? Here are 7 Immediate Treatment for high blood pressure at home:

7 Immediate Treatment for high blood pressure at home
  1. Take Deep breaths: Taking Deep breaths and holding for a few seconds, reduces anxiety and helps you take more oxygen. This can help you stay calm and reduce blood pressure instantly.

  2. Rest and Relax: Resting and sitting calmly helps stabilise blood pressure and even the distribution of blood throughout your body.

  3. Relax your muscles: Progressive muscle relaxation can help your body to stay calm and relax and reduce blood pressure.

  4. Avoid sudden movements: One should avoid sudden movements like sitting suddenly or standing. This can temporarily interfere with blood pressure and becomes problematic when you have high blood pressure. Therefore relaxing or brisk walking can be one of the ways to lower blood pressure in an emergency.

  5. Leg raise: Elevating your legs helps to relieve tension in blood vessels and directs blood towards the heart so that it can pump effectively. You can raise your legs above while lying down straight or can put a cushion under your legs.

  6. Drink water: Hydration can act as an Emergency treatment for high blood pressure at home, dehydration exacerbates high blood pressure. Drinking a few glasses of water helps in lowering your blood pressure.

  7. Bathing: Bathing helps you relieve muscle tension and soothe your muscles. Initially, cold water can constrict blood vessels causing an increase in blood pressure but afterwards, during rewarming, it will cause a reduction in BP.

Important Points to note apart from this:

  • Consultation from a doctor: High blood pressure is a medical emergency immediate doctor consultation is required.

  • Measure BP at regular intervals: If you're experiencing symptoms of high blood pressure, measurement of blood pressure at regular intervals is important to keep track of progress.

15 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure at Home

After discussing how to instantly lower blood pressure at home in case of an emergency, it is important to control blood pressure in the long term since High blood pressure can damage the heart and can lead to heart disease and stroke. Here are 15 ways to lower blood pressure in the long term.

15 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure at Home
  1. Exercise: Engaging in activity is beneficial for the heart as it strengthens it, enhances blood circulation and reduces stress.

  2. The DASH diet: The DASH Diet, also known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet focuses on incorporating fruits, vegetables and fat dairy products into one's eating habits. These food choices have been shown to help decrease blood pressure levels.

  3. Avoid alcohol: It is advisable to limit or completely avoid alcohol consumption as it can lead to hypertension. By making this lifestyle change you can significantly lower your blood pressure.

  4. Losing weight: It's important to note that being overweight is a risk factor for blood pressure.

  5. Quit smoking: Smoking releases radicals that damage blood vessels increasing the risk of hypertension.

  6. Avoid products with added salt like pickles: It's advisable to steer clear of products such as chips and pickles that have salt. The daily intake of salt should be limited to less than 5 grams as these products tend to contain amounts of sodium.

  7. Incorporate meditation into your routine: Including meditation in your routine can be beneficial for reducing stress. It promotes relaxation in both the body and mind ultimately leading to blood pressure levels.

  8. Reduce sodium intake: Consuming sodium leads to water retention, which in turn increases blood pressure. By limiting our intake of sodium we can better control our blood pressure in the long run.

  9. Cut back on sugar and carbohydrates: Reducing our consumption of sugar and carbohydrates not only aids in weight loss but also helps blood pressure levels.

  10. Include potassium foods: Adding potassium foods like bananas and spinach to our diet can counterbalance the effects of sodium thereby regulating our blood pressure.

  11. Incorporate calcium-rich foods: A diet rich in calcium promotes blood vessel function, which plays a role in controlling blood pressure.

  12. Enjoy berries: Berries are packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients that help prevent damage to blood vessels. This improves health and aids in managing blood pressure.

  13. Dark chocolate: Indulging in dark chocolate, in moderation can actually be beneficial, for our blood vessels. This is because dark chocolate contains antioxidants that have the potential to lower blood pressure and promote health.

  14.  Adequate sleep: Ensuring you get a good sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health and keeping your blood pressure in check. Insufficient sleep can contribute to the development of hypertension.

  15.  Regular checkup: Making it a habit to schedule checkups plays a vital role, in keeping track of your blood pressure levels and identifying any potential issues early on. This allows for intervention and effective management.

Risk factors of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a health concern that often goes unnoticed. It is important to understand the conditions it can lead to to maintain your well-being. In this article we will outline ten conditions associated with blood pressure and explain how they can impact your health;

  1. Heart Disease: High blood pressure exerts strain on the heart increasing the likelihood of developing heart disease experiencing heart attacks and encountering issues.

  2. Stroke: Elevated blood pressure can cause damage, to the blood vessels in the brain thereby elevating the risk of strokes.

  3. Kidney Damage: Hypertension has the potential to harm the kidneys and may lead to kidney disease.

  4. Vision Problems: High blood pressure can adversely affect the blood vessels in your eyes resulting in vision impairments or even blindness.

  5. Aneurysms: Weak walls within blood vessels can give rise to aneurysms.

  6. Artery Hardening: Hypertension contributes to hardening thereby increasing susceptibility to atherosclerosis.

  7. Dementia: Reduced blood flow caused by blood pressure poses an increased risk of decline and dementia.

  8. Metabolic Syndrome: High blood pressure is commonly associated with conditions such, as obesity, elevated blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels.

  9. Sexual Dysfunction: It has the potential to impact performance, in both males and females.

  10. Organ Damage: over time high blood pressure can cause harm to organs thereby influencing health.

When to See a Doctor

High blood pressure can sometimes become a health issue leading to either an emergency or hypertensive urgency. It's important to know when to seek assistance. Here are the key things to keep in mind;

  1. Pay Attention to Symptoms: If you experience headaches difficulty breathing, chest pain or vision problems don't hesitate.

  2. High Readings: If your blood pressure consistently shows numbers, above 180/120 mm Hg it's time to consult a doctor.

  3. Immediate Care Needed: In cases of emergency that can cause organ damage call 911 or go to the emergency room without delay.

  4. Urgent Attention Required: Hypertensive urgency may not be as severe. Still requires medical attention. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Visit an urgent care clinic.

  5. Managing Medications: If you have blood pressure and your prescribed medications aren't effectively controlling it consult your doctor.

  6. Chronic Conditions Consideration: Individuals with health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease should be cautious about their blood pressure levels. Seek medical advice more frequently.

  7. Regular Checkups: It's important to have checkups with your healthcare provider. These checkups can help identify any issues.

Take-Home Points

  • Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a long-term condition that can be effectively managed through medications and adopting a good lifestyle.

  • Uncontrolled hypertension can give rise to situations, like urgency or hypertensive emergencies which require immediate attention and care.

  • In cases of emergency involving damage to organs, it is vital to seek medical intervention and avoid relying solely on home remedies.

  • High blood pressure is categorised into stages such as stage 1 stage 2 and hypertensive crisis; each stage has thresholds for blood pressure levels.

  • A hypertensive crisis (blood pressure exceeding 180/120 mm Hg) demands attention and should not be attempted to treat at home.

  • When facing urgency with blood pressure readings surpassing 180/120 mm Hg but without symptoms home remedies for high blood pressure can be used.

  • Blood pressure emergencies may manifest as headaches, chest pain, breathing difficulties, feelings of anxiety, seizures or other related symptoms.

  • Several factors contribute to the occurrence of blood pressure emergencies including stress levels, non-compliance with medication,  kidney complications and certain medications being taken concurrently.

  • Managing blood pressure over the long term is extremely important to avoid complications such as heart disease and stroke. This requires making lifestyle adjustments, such as incorporating exercise into your routine, maintaining a diet and scheduling checkups, with a healthcare professional.


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