As hypertension sufferers, we are familiar with that sudden high blood pressure rush to the head causing dizziness and disorientation for a short while. This event is often associated with some everyday activities. Making small changes to how we do these things will greatly reduce the risk of having a head rush and avoid some potentially serious consequences.

Risks associated with a high blood pressure rush to the head

Hypertension sufferers are at risk from two main problems associated with a rush of blood to the head:

Disorientation and dizziness: We may not know where we are or unsure of which way to go, especially if we are in unfamiliar surroundings.Our coordination may also be disturbed. The sudden need to grab a chair,or table or someone or something to stop us falling down causes concern to the people around us for our overall health. They may even call a paramedic.
Causing injury to yourself: With a sudden change in our blood pressure comes the risk of injuring ourselves if we become faint and fall down.

Injury may be caused by:

  • Hitting a hard object, such as a table or chair, as we collapse onto the floor. If we do, we might suffer some cuts and painful bruising, but there is also the risk of a serious head injury;
  • Injury can also be caused by landing heavily on a hard surface, either indoors or outdoors. Such injuries can include broken bones and an increased risk of suffering a head injury. Elderly people are at risk of breaking their hip, which can have serious consequences for them.

How to avoid a high blood pressure rush to the head

These events are often associated with some everyday activities that involve a sudden change in our position from reclining or sitting to standing as well as bending down quickly.

Modifying how we make these movements, as described below, will greatly reduce the chances of us having an episode and thereby reduce the risk of us injuring ourselves.

# 1. Getting out of bed

  • Avoid leaping out of bed in the morning. Take a bit of time doing it.
  • Lay in bed for a minute or so after waking up.
  • Then sit up and slowly put your feet on the floor. Sit on the edge of the bed for a few moments. This allows time for your body to get used to the change in blood flow.
  • Stay by the side of the bed when you stand up. Sit down again if your feel dizzy or faint.
  • If you feel no ill-effects after standing for 10 to 15 seconds, you can start walking.

# 2. Getting up from a chair

  • When getting up from a seated position, we move our centre of gravity forwards. This makes our head move forward and lower toward your knees.
  • It increases our blood pressure as we bend over and gravity lowers it suddenly as we stand up.
  • Pause before standing up.
  • When you do stand up, stand up straight and do not lean forward. If the chair has armrests, use them to lever yourself up.

# 3. Bending down

We experience a sudden change in blood pressure and rush to the head when we bend down suddenly.
Other than when we have to take urgent evasive action, it is best not to bend from the waist, but to bend our knees.
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Regardless of your body position, try to break up your movements with a slight rest before standing up. These short pauses will help prevent you from having a high blood pressure rush to the head.