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Have chronic hypertension, headache and feeling of spinning head. What's going on?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I have chronic hypertension and last week I started to have headaches and I feel like i am spinning all the time. I have a hard time to look at computers screens because it makes it worse. When I went to my appointment 3 weeks ago for a renewal of my BP meds my BP was 110/70 now all of a sudden it is 130/96. All my dr did was increase my meds. no insight to why this is going on and she didn't address the vision issues
Posted Mon, 18 Feb 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 47 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

The feeling of your head spinning (vertigo) and headaches can result from conditions affecting the inner ear or certain areas of the brain that may affect balance.

The most common reason for the symptoms are condition affecting the inner ear.
The ear is divided in the outer, middle and inner aspect. Within the inner ear, which we cannot see, are structures that control balance.
The most common causes of vertigo are :(1) BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) - this is a disorder of the inner ear related to abnormal position of certain aspects (2) meniere's disease -also a condition of the inner ear, in some cases the exact reason is unknown , in others it may be related to excess of certain fluid in the inner ear (3)vestibular neuronitis- problem of the vestibular nerve which affects balance (4) immune mediated inner ear disease
There are other causes such as migraine or issues with areas of the brain that affect balance (the cerebellum).

Normally it is evaluated first by a careful history to find out (1)the exact nature of what you are experiencing ( for example if it feels like an unsteadiness, imbalance or a false feeling as though you are moving)
(2) the time frame ( how long the episodes last) is also important, this is because some conditions cause vertigo that last for varying amount of time
(3) presence of any additional symptoms which can also help narrow down the cause - headaches (you mentioned that these are also occuring), nausea, weakness, problems with vision or speech)
(4) previous illness- recent history of a cold (can affect inner ear), cold sores, abnormal sensations

This should be followed by an examination looking at the ear, testing balance, assessing the central nervous system (brain)

Treatment depends on the results of the history and examination.
Normally , in most cases, the episodes are self limiting.

It would be unusual for a blood pressure of 130/96 to cause your symptoms.

You should consider, if possible, re visiting your doctor for an assessment of your symptoms.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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