01/5All you need to know about hypertensive crisis

High blood pressure or hypertension is famously referred to as a ‘silent killer’ because it has no obvious symptoms to indicate that something is wrong. Many people suffer from the problem of high blood pressure for years without any knowledge about it. The condition may be symptomless but is quite harmful, especially for those who are close to the hypertensive crisis zone. Persistent high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke that can turn fatal if no precautions are taken at the right time. Here we have tried to explain what is a hypertensive crisis.


02/5​What is a hypersensitive crisis?

A hypersensitive crisis is a condition when the force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels increases to a dangerous level that can lead to stroke. High blood pressure is a chronic condition that can be controlled with medications and lifestyle changes. It possesses several health threats when left uncontrolled including



Memory loss

Heart attack

Damage to the eyes and kidneys

Angina (unstable chest pain)

Pulmonary edema (fluid backup in the lungs)


03/5​Understanding the blood pressure reading

It is crucial to know how to read blood pressure readings. It will make it easier for you to evaluate when it has reached the danger zone. Blood pressure is taken as two numbers, systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number) and is measured in millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). As per the American Heart Association, there are five blood pressure categories.

Normal: Less than 120/80 mm Hg

Elevated: Ranging from 120 to 129 mm Hg systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.

Hypertension Stage 1: Ranging from 130 to 139 mm Hg systolic or 80 to 89 mm Hg diastolic.

Hypertension Stage 2: Constantly at 140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic or higher.

Hypertensive Crisis: Reading that is higher than 180/120 mm Hg.

In hypertensive cases, the blood vessel becomes inflamed and may leak fluid or blood. Due to this, the heart finds it difficult to pump blood effectively, which leads to heart stroke or heart attack.


04/5​Two types of high blood pressure crisis to watch for

A hypertensive crisis is basically of two types- hypertensive urgency and hypertensive emergency. Both the conditions require immediate medical attention to evaluate the threat of organ damage and chalk out an appropriate plan of action.

Hypertensive urgent: If your blood pressure is 180/120 or above but you are not experiencing any associated symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, changes in vision, or difficulty speaking then it would be considered as a hypertensive urgent case. Wait for 5 minutes and take another reading. In urgent cases doctors normally change the medication to bring the blood pressure level down.

Hypertensive emergency: If your blood pressure reading is 180/120 or greater and along with that you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness/weakness, change in vision, or difficulty speaking then it would be considered a hypertensive emergency. Do not waste any minute in such a case and immediately rush to the emergency.


05/5​Who are at the greater risk of hypertensive crisis

As per data, men are at greater risk of hypertensive crisis than women. Age, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, and chronic kidney disease also increases the risk of high blood pressure emergencies.