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Does High Blood Pressure Cause Lightheadedness

Diagnosis Of High Blood Pressure

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Nausea or Dizziness?

The best way to diagnose HBP is to have it measured. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury , has two numbers.

  • Systolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls during heartbeats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories. The American Heart Associations guidelines are as follow:

  • Normal blood pressure: A reading of less than 120 and 80
  • Elevated blood pressure: A reading ranging from 120 to 129 and below 80
  • Stage 1 hypertension: A reading ranging from 130 to 139 or 80 to 89
  • Stage 2 hypertension: A reading ranging from 140 or higher or 90
  • Hypertensive crisis : A reading higher than 180 and/or 120

*If you have an electronic blood pressure machine and would like to measure your blood pressure at home, please follow The American Heart Associations guidelines:

Vasovagal Syncope As A Cause Of Dizziness

Vasovagal syncope is a common cause of dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. The vagus nerve is overstimulated and causes the body’s blood vessels to dilate and the heart to slow down. This anti-adrenaline effect decreases the ability of the heart to pump blood upward toward the brain. Without blood flow, the brain turns off. In Victorian England, young ladies’ sensibilities were easily offended causing a vasovagal episode called a swoon.

Some people faint at the sight of blood. Some parents faint when their child gets immunized. Some medical students faint at their first autopsy. Many types of emotional and physical stressors can overstimulate the vagus nerve, causing dizziness, lightheadedness, and at times fainting .

Fainting is not normal. If a person is unconscious, activate the emergency medical system , and seek medical care.

Will Your Doctor Treat Low Blood Pressure

You will likely get treated for low blood pressure only if it is causing symptoms or if your blood pressure drops suddenly. Treatment depends on your symptoms, how severe they are, and the reasons for the low blood pressure.

Your doctor may have you:

  • Add more salt to your diet.
  • Get fluid through an intravenous line if you are very dehydrated.
  • Change or stop medicines that lower your blood pressure.
  • Take medicine to treat the problem that is causing low blood pressure. For example, you may need antibiotics to treat infection or medicines to stop vomiting or diarrhea.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before you add more salt to your diet or make any changes in your medicines.

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How To Treat High Blood Pressure

It is important to talk with a doctor about high blood pressure, as making behavioral changes and taking medications, such asbeta-blockers, can help.

A person may find that managing stress or eating less salt can also help lower their blood pressure.

A home blood pressure reading with a systolic number above 180 or a diastolic number above 120 warrants a 911 call or a trip to the emergency room.

When a person has intracranial hypertension, it means that there is higher pressure from the fluid that cushions the brain. This can happen for many reasons, including:

  • a serious head injury
  • an infection or growth in the brain, including a brain tumor

A person may experience a chronic throbbing headache or neurological symptoms such as vision issues or difficulty concentrating. If this is the case, a person should contact a doctor, as these symptoms can be life threatening.

Some people develop intracranial hypertension for no clear reason. Doctors call this idiopathic intracranial hypertension . Making certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, may help with IIH.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms You Shouldnt Ignore

Can You Get Lightheaded From High Blood Pressure?

Caregiver Duties Aging & Health

If youre worried about developing high blood pressure or youve already been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what symptoms to watch out for.

While the symptoms described here may indicate a high blood pressure crisis, its also very important to understand that a persons blood pressure can be dangerously high and yet there are no symptoms at all, notes retired emergency physician Ben Hippen. This is why high blood pressure is sometimes called the silent killer.

For this reason, its important to monitor your blood pressure often. When youre at your doctors office, or even at the pharmacy, take a few minutes to stick your arm in the cuff and get a reading. If you can afford it and will actually use it, a home blood pressure monitor is a worthwhile investment.

Reviewed on 6/15/2020

These symptoms are present in a wide variety of gastrointestinal conditions. Perhaps you ate something that didnt agree with you or you were exposed to a viral illness. Please keep track of your blood pressure and if you have concerns, then please contact your doctor right away.

While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

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What Causes Low Blood Pressure

The cause of low blood pressure isnt always clear. It may be associated with the following:

Who Gets Postural Hypotension?

Postural hypotension, which is low blood pressure when standing up suddenly, can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons, such as dehydration, lack of food, or being overly fatigued. It can also be influenced by genetic make-up, aging, medication, dietary and psychological factors, and acute triggers, such as infection and allergy.

Postural hypotension occurs most frequently in people who are taking drugs to control high blood pressure . It can also be related to pregnancy, strong emotions, hardening of the arteries , or diabetes. The elderly are particularly affected, especially those who have high blood pressure or autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

Hypotension after meals is a common cause of dizziness and falls after eating. This is most common after large meals containing a lot of carbohydrates. Itâs believed to be caused by blood pooling into the vessels of the stomach and intestines.

Several drugs are commonly associated with postural hypotension. These medications can be divided into two major categories:

Common causes of naturally occurring postural hypotension include:

Certain diseases can also cause postural hypotension. These include:

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How Long To Lower Blood Pressure From Drinking

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Low Blood Pressure Also Known As Hypotension Is When You Have A Blood Pressure Level That Is Below The Normal Range

If your blood pressure is naturally low, this probably wont cause you any problems and wont need treating. In fact, the lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Low blood pressure can sometimes be caused by medications or can be a sign of another health problem. This can sometimes cause problems such as falls, fainting and feeling dizzy, so it might need looking into and treating. Speak to your doctor or nurse if youre worried about low blood pressure.

Plus, take a look at the animation below on how to manage low blood pressure when you stand up.

What Medication Controls Hypertension

HBP 052- How does High Blood Pressure cause dizziness

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How Is Dizziness Diagnosed

The diagnosis of dizziness begins with the health care professional deciding whether the complaint of dizziness refers to lightheadedness or vertigo. Further diagnosis continues once this distinction is made.

The key to the diagnosis of dizziness is a thorough history and physical examination. Often the diagnosis is made by listening to the patient’s story. The health care professional may ask about triggers that cause and relieve the symptoms of dizziness.

  • “Is it related to changing positions quickly?”
  • “Does it resolve on its own or does the patient have to do something, like lie down to make it better?”
  • “Does turning the head bring on the symptoms? Do the symptoms resolve when the patient is very still?”
  • “Is there associated hearing loss or ringing in the ears?”

A review of systems is a series of questions that review the patient’s body functions. The doctor may ask questions about associated symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or abnormal bleeding.

The doctor may review the past medical history, and this includes reviewing medications the patient is currently taking.

The doctor may do a thorough physical examination that may include:

  • X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs may be indicated depending upon the patient’s needs.
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    Blood Pressure Meds Cause Vertigo

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    Dizziness In Hypertensive Patients

    Because dizziness is such a general term, patients often use it to describe various disorienting symptoms, including vertigo episodes and loss of balance. A study notes that patients who experience dizziness because of high blood pressure also experience additional symptoms like:

    • Anxiety, panic, or depression
    • Irritability

    Sometimes, the dizziness brought by hypertension can impact daily activities. This is especially true when the vertigo attacks worsen with movement. When not appropriately managed, such dizzying symptoms can pose risks for injuries due to tripping or slipping. If you think you have hypertension or if your dizziness or vertigo attacks stem from high blood pressure, dont hesitate to call your primary health care doctor.

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    Heart Conditions Which Cause Dizziness

    The heart is an electrical pump and for it to work, the electrical conduction system must be operating properly to stimulate the heart muscle to squeeze in a coordinated fashion and pump blood to the body. The heart muscle itself must be strong enough to pump blood, and the valves in the heart must work properly to allow blood to flow in the direction intended during contraction.

    • Conduction disturbances: Electrical conduction disturbances may make the heart beat too quickly or too slowly , and either of these situations may result in an inadequate blood supply to the brain, causing dizziness or lightheadedness.
    • Cardiomyopathy: Dizziness is also a symptom of cardiomyopathy , a disease of the heart muscle, resulting in muscle that doesnt squeeze effectively. Most commonly the weakness is due to atheroscleroticheart disease or ischemic cardiomyopathy , in which the heart muscle itself doesnt get enough blood supply to work properly. Other non-ischemic cardiomyopathies may be due to diabetes, alcohol use, and viral infections.

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    Causes Of Lightheadedness May Be Dehydration Medication Side Effects Sudden Blood Pressure Drops Low Blood Sugar And Heart Disease Or Stroke

    Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults. Although it’s not usually caused by anything life-threatening, it could be, so you need to be careful.

    “Don’t ignore it. Even if the lightheadedness does not have a serious cause, it could lead to serious injuries from a fall. And at the worst, the cause may itself be life-threatening,” says Dr. Shamai Grossman, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School.

    If you feel lightheaded and/or woozy, Dr. Grossman recommends having a drink of water or orange juice and lying down. If symptoms last more than 15 minutes, he says it’s time to seek medical help in an urgent or emergency care setting. Even if symptoms are brief, and even if you think you know the cause, report the lightheadedness to your doctor.

    Management Of Blood Pressure Drops With Standing

    Dizziness, balance problems, and blood pressure swings can be from upper cervical instability

    Skilled physical therapists can instruct patients with OH in slow position changes, heel raises, or marching in place and widening your stance upon standing as well as using an assistive device to prevent falls.

    For more discussion and tips about how to manage dizziness upon standing, .

    For a discussion on the link between orthostatic hypotension and foot neuropathy, .

    Other strategies for OH management may include the following, but these may not be necessary or appropriate for certain patients.

    Talk to your Doctor to find out if any of the following strategies are right for you to manage OH:

    • Medication for OH
    • Cross legs upon standing
    • Increase water and salt intake
    • Drink coffee in the morning
    • Elevate the head of your bed slightly

    For information on the link between other cardiovascular problems and dizziness or vertigo, .

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