February 26, 2024

Managing Hypertension: First Aid Strategies for Better Health

Hypertension is when there is an abnormal spike in the blood pressure to around 140/90 mmHg or even higher than that. It is quite a common condition affecting approximately a billion people worldwide - one in every four adults, to be more specific. Sometimes, high blood pressure won't give you any prior warning.

Your levels could be up with you unaware of the same. That's why managing a healthy lifestyle is of utmost importance. However, what would you do if you encountered any situation where someone seemed to experience a rise in their blood pressure levels? Acting immediately is the need of the hour. Let's look at some of the first-aid strategies to adopt when you or someone you know suddenly experience an emergency and your pressure levels increase.

What are the Symptoms of Hypertension?

High blood pressure is often called a silent killer since it mostly comes sans any symptoms. However, certain signs of discomfort could trigger a warning that the pressure levels are rising. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision changes or blurred vision
  • Nosebleed
  • Buzzing sound in the ear
  • Increased anxiety
  • Chest pain
  • Overall feelings of uneasiness

First Aid Techniques for Hypertension Emergencies

If there is a rise in blood pressure, immediate medical attention is required. However, at the same time, some first aid can be implemented to make the affected person feel better.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water won't lead to an instant decrease in your blood pressure. However, when someone is feeling uneasy, or it seems their pressure levels may have risen, helping them remain hydrated will help lessen the discomfort to a greater extent. However, maintaining an adequate fluid intake helps to manage hypertension well in the long run.

Practice Deep Breathing Techniques

In any physical discomfort, deep breathing techniques help to induce a calm and relaxed feeling for the time being, if not permanently. If you spot someone sweating profusely and having trouble breathing, ask them to inhale and exhale through their nose and mouth, respectively. It could help them remain calm and relaxed until you fetch medical help.

That was about instant relief. However, when you practice breathing and relaxation techniques regularly, it helps to stabilize your blood pressure immensely. Studies have shown that meditating helps lessen your body's nitric oxide content, which widens your blood vessels. When that happens, it helps your blood to flow freely, which works towards keeping your blood pressure under control.

The Power of Cold Compresses

The easiest remedy to feel better during a high blood pressure episode is to place a cold towel or ice pack on the wrist, neck, and forehead. This helps to lessen blood pressure and ease discomfort. A study was conducted on fifteen hypertensive individuals who underwent an ice massage session for around 20 minutes. The results showed that their heart rate and blood pressure effectively lowered after the same.

Herbal Teas

If you readily have herbal teas, like chamomile, rose, hibiscus, or lavender, make yourself or the affected person a quick infusion. It could cause momentary calmness. However, that's not the ultimate remedy if the pressure levels have shot increasingly. You would have to seek medical help immediately.

If you have blood pressure problems, the herbal tea remedy may help in the long run. However, ask your doctor about the same, as sometimes they could have side effects or interact with certain medications.

The Dark Chocolate Remedy

Research has shown that eating dark chocolate (25 grams) daily for around eight weeks helped lower blood pressure significantly. Contrastingly, those who ate white chocolate didn't experience an improvement in their blood pressure levels. Let's look at the science behind the same. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that produce nitric acid, pivotal in relaxing blood vessels and lessening blood pressure. That's why a piece of dark chocolate might be comforting when you experience discomfort because of a blood pressure increase.

The above points are first-aid remedies to provide temporary relief but aren't a permanent solution. You will have to seek medical help urgently. Blood pressure levels of 180/120 mm Hg are medical emergencies. Immediate medical help is needed lest it may become life-threatening.

Tips to Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

If high blood pressure is a recurring problem, here are some tips on how to lower high blood pressure.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Also, make sure that you are on a low-salt diet.
  • Ensure that you are physically active. The more you are on the move, the better it will help to keep your pressure levels under control. Some exercises to consider for high blood pressure include dancing, walking, swimming, cycling, skipping, hiking, running, etc.
  • Obesity is responsible for approximately 75% of hypertension cases. That's why losing weight is mandatory, especially if you are obese.
  • Keep a watch on your alcohol intake as an increased consumption may narrow the blood vessels, increasing the risk of high blood pressure. For males, the alcohol intake shouldn't increase by two drinks a day. For females, it's just a drink a day.
  • The same goes for smoking. It causes the blood vessel walls to be narrow, putting you at risk of high BP.
  • If your blood pressure levels rise too often, monitor them regularly. You could do it at home or even seek a doctor's consultation.
  • Lessening caffeine intake is an essential thing that people with chronic high blood pressure must keep in mind. Studies have shown that irrespective of whether you have BP issues or not, caffeine consumption may cause your blood pressure to rise for a short span but dramatically. Some opine that caffeine blocks the hormone responsible for widening the arteries. Others feel caffeine spikes adrenaline production, causing a rise in blood pressure. That's why checking caffeine intake is essential to cope with blood pressure levels.

Conclusion

When you opt for a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your BP levels under check to a greater extent. However, if you experience discomfort or are acquainted with someone you feel is experiencing a spike in their blood pressure levels, do not delay consulting a doctor. Your prompt action may prevent the situation from aggravating and even save a life.

Meta Description: Know about the first aid techniques to lower your blood pressure levels. Also, learn about the different ways to keep your blood pressure under control.

 

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