Signs and symptoms

Autonomic Dysreflexia

Signs and symptoms of AD

Autonomic_dysreflexia5aThe signs of AD can include:

    • Hypertension (fast increase in blood pressure)
    • Pounding headache
    • Flushed cheeks, neck, shoulders
    • Blurry vision
    • Sweating above the level of the spinal injury
    • Stuffy nose
    • Upset stomach, feels like you need to throw up
    • Slow pulse (bradycardia), lower than 60 beats per minute, or fast pulse (tachycardia)
    • Tingling
    • Goose bumps above or below the level of the spinal injury
    • Feeling nervous, worried or scared
    • Chills without fever
    • Clammy or cold and sweaty
    • Cool to the touch
    • Pale

What happens to the body during an episode of AD?

  • Severe pounding headache
  • Flushed appearance of the skin above the level of injury
  • Profuse sweating above the level of the lesion
  • Nasal congestion
  • Feeling unwell
  • Blurred vision
  • Increase in spasm
  • Continued severe hypertension (raised blood pressure)
    IMPORTANT: Stay sitting up until blood pressure is normal.