High blood pressure is a term used to describe the pressure pushing against the artery walls and is also known as hypertension. This pressure puts extra strain on a person’s blood vessels, heart and other organs including the brain, kidneys and eyes. Over time, it can increase the risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions including heart disease. Feeling a throbbing pain in your head could indicate you may be at risk and should get your reading checked before it’s too late.
According to a paper in the Iranian Journal of Neurology, headaches due to high blood pressure typically cause pain on both sides of the head.
The headache pain tends to pulsate and often gets worse after physical activity.
The authors of the study said high blood pressure can cause headaches because it affects the blood-brain barrier.
Hypertension can result in excess pressure on the brain, which can cause blood to leak from the blood vessels in the organ, said Medical News Today.
The site continued: “This causes edema, or swelling, which is problematic because the brain sits within the skull and has no space to expand.
“The swelling places further pressure on the brain and causes symptoms that include a headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, weakness, seizures, and blurred vision.
“If a person receives treatment to lower their blood pressure, their symptoms will usually improve within an hour.”
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Pulmonary hypertension is an often-unrecognised cause of peripheral edema.
Pulmonary blood pressure is the pressure the heart needs to pump blood from the heart through the lungs.
The pressure gets higher when the arteries in the lungs narrow as a result of lung disease, left heart failure or sleep apnea.
Treatment for peripheral edema depends on what is causing the swelling and is best to speak with your GP about the possible cause for the headaches.
Harvard Health added: “It is usually only when a person is in the midst of what is known as a hypertensive crisis when a headache will occur.
“A hypertensive crisis is a period of extremely high blood pressure with a reading of 180/120 mm Hg or higher and when this occurs a person may experience symptoms such as a headache.
“This is considered a medical crisis, and if it occurs, you should call for emergency and get help.
How to lower your reading
If a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure, they will be advised to lower their reading by overhauling certain aspects of their diet.
Increasing their physical activity, reducing their salt content and loading up on more fruits and vegetables will have a positive impact on their reading.
Certain foods have been shown to help lower blood pressure, making them an essential component to a heart-healthy diet.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating more walnuts in moderation could cause a marked reduction in blood pressure reading.
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