Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Headaches Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Headaches

Connection Between High Blood Pressure and Headaches


Due to their common nature, headaches can be challenging to diagnose. Did you eat something, feel stressed at work, lack sleep, have a medical condition you don't know about, or was it something else?

This article cannot cover everything, but we will discuss hypertension and headaches. Neither is what you think, but there is a connection between the two.

As a starting point, I'd like to explain what hypertension is. In the next section, I'll discuss whether high blood pressure can cause headaches, treatment options, and when to see a doctor.

Can High Blood Pressure Cause Headaches?

It is common for high blood pressure not to cause symptoms most of the time.


A hypertensive crisis is the only instance in which hypertension causes a headache. Symptoms of end-organ damage are experienced when blood pressure soars to 180/120 mm Hg or higher. In asymptomatic hypertension, there are no symptoms associated with high blood pressure. There is no need for medical attention. Symptoms of asymptomatic high blood pressure should be reported to your doctor.


In addition to stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, memory loss, and other severe complications, the hypertensive crisis is a medical emergency. If your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher, wait five minutes before taking another reading.


Contact your healthcare provider if you still have elevated blood pressure without other symptoms. Seek emergency care if you experience any of the following symptoms and your blood pressure is 180/120 mm Hg or higher:


  • Blurred vision

  • Seizures

  • Unresponsiveness

  • Confusion

  • Chest pain

  • Severe headache

  • Severe anxiety

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nausea and vomiting


Hypertensive Headaches: How Do They Feel?

A headache is experienced by 20% of people with hypertensive urgency (severe hypertension without any signs or symptoms of organ damage). Headaches caused by hypertension feel like:


  • Both sides of your head are suffering from a headache

  • Headache that throbs

  • Physically active people experience headaches


Other Symptoms of High Blood Pressure

It is common for high blood pressure to occur without any symptoms. It may cause a person to experience the following symptoms, however:


  • Nausea

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle tremors

  • Nosebleeds

  • Anxiety

  • Vomiting

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Vision changes

  • Confusion

  • Chest pain

  • Early morning headaches


Treatments for Headaches

Alternative therapies and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are all effective ways to treat headaches. For otherwise healthy people, the following are safe but don't self-diagnose the cause of frequent or chronic headaches.


Your headaches can be properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor based on your symptoms, health history, and other factors.



Two types of medications may alleviate different types of headaches:  


  • OTC pain relievers: Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) are all available over the counter and may be effective for headaches and mild migraines. Some of these can cause problems like ulcers and gastrointestinal complications, and rebound headaches if taken daily for a long time.

  • Beta-blocker drugs: Certain blood pressure medications may be prescribed to treat migraines (Inderal, InnoPran). These methods can reduce head pressure.


Reduce stress

Migraines and headaches in adults may both be caused by stress.


Finding ways to manage stress can be helpful, even though stress is a part of everyday life. Take a look at this:


  • Therapy: According to some evidence, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can alleviate headaches or migraines. Stress may be managed with CBT by identifying and challenging inaccurate thoughts.

  • Relaxation techniques: Meditation has been shown to reduce tension headaches, while aromatherapy with lavender essential oil alleviates migraines. Both of these practices can also alleviate stress.

  • Yoga: This mind-body practice reduces stress for many people. There is also some evidence to suggest that yoga can reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of tension headaches.


 Less caffeine

Some caffeine is okay and can even help migraine sufferers and people with headaches; however, too much caffeine can trigger migraines and headaches in some people. However, caffeine withdrawal, when you suddenly stop drinking caffeine, can also cause headaches.


Considering how much caffeine you consume from coffee, soda, and tea daily may help you avoid headaches. Reduce caffeine intake gradually if you suspect caffeine is contributing to your headaches.


Other treatments

Other treatments for headaches include:


  • Drinking alcohol should be avoided or reduced

  • Don't smoke

  • Exercise regularly


High blood pressure also is managed with these things.


When to See a Doctor

A doctor should be consulted if you have headaches or migraines that are frequent, persistent, or getting worse.


Infrequent headaches may indicate underlying health problems, including fatigue, stress, or hunger. In addition to asking how you feel a headache, pain-whether it is on one side, both sides, or all over your head-your doctor will also ask where you feel it.


If you have associated symptoms such as dizziness or blurred vision, the doctor may ask what time of day you typically experience them. You'll need to communicate all these details to your healthcare provider to get an effective treatment plan.


Frequently Asked Questions


How does a hypertension headache feel?

Rather than affecting only one side of the head, headaches caused by high blood pressure typically have a pulsating sensation all over the head. If you experience severe headaches, sudden headaches, chest pains, and shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately. It is likely a sign of a hypertensive crisis.


Can low blood pressure cause headaches?

Headaches can be caused by low blood pressure (or hypotension). Lightheadedness, fatigue, or no symptoms can also be low blood pressure symptoms. Also, there are low-pressure headaches caused by decreased spinal fluid pressure, not high blood pressure.


How can I get rid of a headache quickly?

The following things may work quickly to relieve a headache: lie in a darker room, remove hair ties and clips from your head, drink some water (dehydration can sometimes cause headaches), take a bit of caffeine, or take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). You should seek medical attention if your headache persists or becomes more severe or if you experience vision changes, neck pain, fever, dizziness, vomiting, or passing out.


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