For those who already have issues with their blood pressure, it might be difficult to gauge when to seek emergency care for blood pressure-related problems. Take a look below and learn how to pinpoint key signs for elevated blood pressure and help answer the question, “When should you go to the ER for blood pressure?”

blood pressure monitoring

High Blood Pressure in Adults

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 1 out of 3 adults in the US have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This totals to about 75 million people all in the US who must deal with the harmful symptoms and limitations of having high blood pressure, which often increases the chances of other life-threatening issues such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Someone who reaches a hypertensive crisis is defined as having a blood pressure reading of 180/120 or higher.

Telltale Signs

If a spike in blood pressure is a common occurrence for you, it can be difficult to know when the right time is to visit an emergency center for medical care regarding your elevated readings. But there are a few things you should absolutely take note of when you are suffering from hypertension. The following symptoms should prompt you to make the call and get the treatment needed.

chest pain

Chest pains

Severe chest pains should always be addressed as quickly as possible by a medical health professional. Chest pains could be a sign of something more serious so time is of the essence.


Severe headache/ Memory loss

If you are experiencing extremely painful or unbearable headaches accompanied by memory loss, you will want to reach out to get medical help. When it comes to a hypertensive emergency, painful headaches and struggling with memory can be a warning sign of something more serious.


Extreme Anxiety/ Shortness of breath

It’s possible that hypertensive urgency can cause some feelings of anxiety. If you are experiencing unfathomable feelings of anxiety or shortness of breath in conjunction with a high blood pressure reading, you will want to seek emergency care.

heart attack

Periods of unconsciousness

While it might not be something crucial, it is always best to make sure when it comes to potential trauma of the brain.

back pain

Failing kidney function

Your kidneys help filter waste from the body. Kidneys that are not functioning properly due to organ damage causes the blood to filter poorly, reducing the stability of oxygen and vital nutrients in the blood. If you fear your kidneys are not functioning as they should be, pursue medical attention.


A stroke is a bit more complicated when it comes to symptoms as there are only a few. Seek emergency medical services if you:

heart warning signs

  • Experience numbness in the face, arms or legs
  • Have feelings of numbness on one side of the body only
  • Are speaking incoherently or are not able to articulate words as you normally can
  • Have trouble remembering things or have a severe headache
  • Have problems seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Have sudden loss of coordination or basic mobility
heart emergency

Emergency Care for Blood Pressure Issues

It can be exceedingly difficult to remain calm while getting the help you need in moments where you feel vulnerable. But it is imperative that you remain as relaxed as possible in order to seek guidance. If you live alone, it can help to have accessibility to an emergency call button or app nearby such as MobileHelp or Medical Guardian. If you live with others or are in a public place, let someone know immediately that you need medical assistance and remain as calm as possible while they dial 9-1-1 and offer assistance.

If you experience any of these symptoms or are having a combination of these symptoms, it would be best to stop wondering when should you seek emergency care for blood pressure related issues and just seek immediate medical attention. Village Emergency Centers are located throughout the Houston area and we accept all major insurance plans and can help set up assistance for your blood pressure needs. Get the help you need and see the Village EC difference.