What is the BP value that is considered an emergency?

Patient

Q: My husband has high blood pressure and is on 5 kinds of meds. The queston is sometimes (even if he is just sitting) his blood pressure will just go up and we do not know what to do.

Doctor

A:   May I ask what are his BP measurements? It seems like he has a bad case of hypertension since he is on 5 kinds of meds and his BP is still high. Blood pressure (BP) fluctuates any time of the day in relation to a person’s activity. There are also other factors that increase BP: pain, emotional stress, anxiety, etc. Compliance to medications is also an important factor. The more important, but often ignored, ways to decrease BP are lifestyle (moderate exercise) and dietary (low salt) modifications. Blood pressure >140/90 is considered high. If the BP reaches >180/120 (either value) with or without accompanying symptoms, then he definitely needs to go to the emergency room because it may have serious consequences. If your husband will have a BP between 140/90 to 180/120 but with accompanying symptoms like headache or pain on the nape, blurred vision, slurred speech, chest pain, this is also an emergency and urgent attention is needed. I do hope I have appeased your concerns and take care always.

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