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Can High Blood Pressure Cause Migraines Or Headaches

Blood Pressure: How High Is Too High

HBP 046- How is High Blood Pressure linked to headaches

Systolic blood pressure is the upper number in a blood pressure measurement. It refers to how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when your heart beats. The lower number, diastolic pressure, refers to how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when your heart is resting between beats. A blood pressure of less than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal.

Nearly half of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressuremeaning greater than 130/80 mm Hgaccording to the American Heart Association . When untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other complications by damaging blood vessels throughout your body.

In most cases, high blood pressure does not cause headaches, nosebleeds, or any other symptoms, stresses Salim Virani, MD, professor, sections of cardiology and cardiovascular research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

If you are waiting for symptoms to tell you that you have high blood pressure, you have missed the boat, he says. Waiting for symptoms is actually a very big mistake. We need to pick up high blood pressure in the absence of symptoms. This gives doctors the best opportunity to treat high blood pressure and avoid complications.

If you have high blood pressure, you have to take your medicine every day, even if you feel fine. Dont wait for symptoms to take your medication, says Dr. Virani.

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Headache Caused By An Adrenal Tumor

The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and make many of the hormones the body needs to work. Sometimes headaches are caused by an adrenal tumor . The tumor can cause quick increases in blood pressure that in turn cause headaches. Symptoms of this type of headache are:3

  • Head pain that lasts 15 minutes to 1 hour
  • Severe pulsing or constant pain
  • Come with sweating, palpitations, anxiety, and paleness

The headache goes away when blood pressure lowers or the tumor is removed.

High Bp May Lower Migraine Risk

Early Findings Suggest a Link, but Experts Warn Patients Not to Abandon Their High Blood Pressure Drugs

April 14, 2008 — Having high blood pressure was associated with a reduced risk for migraines in a new study, but the preliminary findings don’t prove that high blood pressure is protective, researchers say.

Participants in a Norwegian population study who had higher-than-normal systolic blood pressure reported up to 40% fewer headaches or migraines than people with lower blood pressure.

The finding was somewhat surprising, given that beta-blockers and other blood pressure-lowering drugs are often prescribed to prevent migraines.

“This is a paradox,” lead researcher Erling Tronvik, MD, tells WebMD. “Several earlier studies have linked increasing blood pressure to a decrease in chronic pain in general, and this study suggests that the same is true for migraines.”

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How Not To Relieve A Hypertension Headache

High blood pressure headaches are a symptom of a serious health emergency. Taking traditional pain relievers is ineffective and delays the medical care you need.

You can take previously prescribed blood pressure medication on your way to the emergency room, but don’t wait for it to take effect as it might not help. To prevent serious complications, you need to get professional medical help within one to two hours.

What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

Does high blood pressure cause headaches? Myths vs. facts
  • Will my child grow out of their migraines?
  • What medications do you recommend for me?
  • What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
  • Should I get tested?
  • What type of migraine do I have?
  • What can my friends and family do to help?
  • Are my migraines considered chronic?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.


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How High Is Blood Pressure

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Barometric Pressure Changes Triggering Vestibular Migraine

Q. We live in Florida. Every time the rainy season comes I have problems. I have extreme pressure in my ears and my equilibrium is off. I dont get true vertigo because my head does not spin. I do not usually get nausea. I get weak. I get headaches. I have neck and shoulder stiffness. I get truly frustrated.

Last year my doctor thought migraine medications would help. Well they did not. I went to an eye specialist. He said no problems with the eyes. We know it has to do with pressure the minute the barometric pressure changes I am not well. I have also traveled and when in high altitudes I have similar problems.

I have had sinus surgery . I was better for about two years, but am worse again. The ENT said my nose is clear. I have taken Sudafed, anti-motion medications and Tylenol. I even tried earplugs. Any suggestions?

Nancy Juopperi, D.O.Michigan Institute for Neurological DisordersFarmington, MI

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High Blood Pressure Headaches And Other Hypertension Symptoms

Your blood pressure headache may be exactly what you might guess based on the feelings of pain and pressure in your head. As it feels like, that headache is the result of too much pressure in your head.

Other hypertension symptoms are also rare. You might not ever get them or you might get one or more of them only when you have a hypertensive crisis, which can be a medical emergency.

  • Nosebleeds
  • Blood spots in your eyes, or subconjunctival conjunctivitis
  • Reddening of the face, or facial flushing, in the heat, cold, or wind, or after eating spicy foods or drinking hot beverages, or at other times.

Since these symptoms can indicate a hypertensive crisis, contact your healthcare provider or get medical care immediately if you have them.

Dizziness And Hypertension Headache

Migraines & High Blood Pressure

Dizziness is a commonly reported symptom, particularly in the elderly population. Recent studies have found that there is a significant correlation between those who experience systemic hypertension and those who describe the symptoms of dizziness or vertigo. As is the case with hypertensive headaches, the link between dizziness and hypertension is unclear at this stage.

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In Most Cases High Blood Pressure Does Not Cause Headaches Or Nosebleeds

  • The best evidence indicates that high blood pressure does not cause headaches or nosebleeds, except in the case of hypertensive crisis, a medical emergency when blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher. If your blood pressure is unusually high AND you have headache or nosebleed and are feeling unwell, wait five minutes and retest. If your reading remains at 180/120 mm Hg or higher, call 911.
  • If you are experiencing severe headaches or nosebleeds and are otherwise unwell, contact your doctor as they could be symptoms of other health conditions.

Medications For Resilient Blood Pressure

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Blood Pressure And High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries, which are blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood from your heart towards the rest of your body. Most often, you will receive two numbers.

Systolic blood pressure is the higher number. It reflects the force when your heart is contracting and pushing blood. Diastolic blood pressure is lower. It is the pressure measured at the time when your heart is relaxing between beats.

Stages Of Blood Pressure

Does high blood pressure cause headaches?

There are four stages of blood pressure. These phases include:

  • Normal- systolic less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic less than 80 mm Hg

  • Elevated- systolic between 120-129 mm Hg and diastolic less than 80 mm Hg

  • Hypertension Stage 1- systolic between 130-139 mm Hg or diastolic between 80-89 mm Hg

  • Hypertension Stage 2-systolic at least 140 mm Hg or diastolic at least 90 mm Hg

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Blood Pressure Medication Starting With Letter L

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Is There A Link Between High Cholesterol And Migraine Headaches

Dr. Laffin notes that theres isnt any research that proves high cholesterol causes migraine headaches. We often think of migraine headaches as perhaps a vasodilation phenomenon, he says, or something that occurs when blood vessels expand, or dilate. Thats a completely separate phenomenon from atherosclerosis.

In the last few years, however, several studies have found interesting associations between cholesterol levels and migraine headaches.

For example, a 2015 study found that people who had frequent, intense migraines had higher total cholesterol levels and higher levels of LDL cholesterol. When people in the study received three months of treatment, which helped reduce their migraines, these levels decreased.

However, this study included just 52 people, which is too small of a pool to draw major, sweeping conclusions. And the results dont mean high cholesterol is causing these migraines. The general take-home is theres an association when were talking about migraine headaches, Dr. Laffin says. But that doesnt necessarily mean cause and effect.

A separate 2011 study found that people who have migraine with aura a specific kind of migraine that comes with vision or speech changes had higher total cholesterol and triglycerides levels when compared to people who didnt experience headaches. However, this is also a case of association meaning you cant say that the higher cholesterol levels caused them to have migraine with aura.

Tips To Prevent Barometric Pressure Headaches

high blood pressure headaches

The best way to prevent barometric pressure headaches is to be aware of your headache patterns. The sooner you recognize the headache coming on, the faster you can treat or prevent it.

If your doctor has prescribed medication for your headaches, be sure to take it at the first sign of the headache to prevent a severe migraine. You may notice head pain or other symptoms, like ringing in your ears, aura, or nausea.

Take care of your body in other ways, too. Try these:

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day.
  • Exercise most days of the week.
  • Eat a balanced diet and avoid skipping meals.
  • Practice relaxation techniques if youre experiencing stress.

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How To Control High Blood Pressure

Making some simple changes can help you keep your blood pressure numbers under control. Here are some effective ways you must try-

1. Try a DASH diet

A DASH diet is a dietary approach that can help in controlling high blood pressure. It mainly focuses on consuming foods loaded with fibre and potassium. It also restricts sodium intake which results in low blood pressure numbers.

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2. Maintain a healthy body weight

Those at an unhealthy body weight experience increased risk of hypertension and other severe health conditions. Shedding extra kilos contributes to not just healthy blood pressure numbers but also keeps several diseases at bay.

3. Stop smoking and manage stress

Smoking is harmful to your heart health too. If you are unable to quit smoking, seek help from experts. Stress also affects your blood pressure. Try yoga, meditation or exercise to control stress.

4. Reduce caffeine consumption

Studies highlight that consuming too much caffeine can increase your blood pressure for a short period. Caffeine consumption is also linked to other health issues. Switch to other healthy options like a protein shake, smoothies, detox drinks or herbal teas.

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5. Seek help on time

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High Blood Pressure: Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Reading

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Nosebleeds are usually not a sign of anything serious and are most often treated at home. But persistent or long-lasting nosebleeds can be linked to having high blood pressure, which can cause a multitude of other health problems.

Nosebleeds are pretty common and most people will experience them every now and again. Anyone can get a nosebleed, but they most often affect:

  • children between two and 10 years of age
  • elderly people
  • people who take blood thinning medication such as aspirin or anticoagulants, such as warfarin
  • people with blood clotting disorders, such as haemophilia

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Does High Blood Pressure Cause Nosebleeds

Whether high blood pressure is a cause of nosebleeds remains up for debate by doctors and scientists.

Hypertension is not known to directly cause nosebleeds, however, it is believed the blood vessels in your nose are more susceptible to damage if you have high blood pressure.

A study in 2020 of 35,749 participants found that those with a history of high blood pressure had an increased risk of intense nosebleeds ones that require a visit to hospital in comparison with people who had no history of high blood pressure.

And, according to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is not a cause of nosebleeds unless your blood pressure levels are extremely high, known as a hypertensive crisis.

A hypertensive crisis is a sudden spike in your blood pressure over 180/120 mm Hg that can be life-threatening.

When your blood pressure reaches or raises above this level, you are significantly more at risk of a heart attack or stoke, as well as kidney and eye damage.

Frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of a hypertensive crisis as the blood vessels in the nose are easily damaged.

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Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, confusion and severe anxiety.

In 2019, the British Heart Foundation reported that just over a quarter of adults in the UK around 14.4 million people have high blood pressure.


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