Postural Or Orthostatic Hypotension
Postural or orthostatic hypotension occurs when your blood pressure falls after a sudden movement. For example, you may feel dizzy or faint after changing posture, such as sitting up from a lying position, or standing up from a sitting position. This may cause you to lose your balance and fall over. You may also feel light-headed, have blurred vision, or lose consciousness.
The symptoms of postural or orthostatic hypotension should only last a few minutes as your blood pressure adjusts to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.
Some Risk Factors Include:
What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your , you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.
- Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
- Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.
This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment for hypertension depends on how high your blood pressure is, as well as your lifestyle and risk factors.
For elevated blood pressure, the goal is to keep your blood pressure from developing into clinical hypertension. No medications are necessary at this stage. Your doctor may recommend:
- losing weight if you have overweight or obesity
For stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as mentioned above, as well as:
- reducing your sodium intake
- finding healthy ways to manage your stress
- medication, if your blood pressure doesnt improve after 1 month of lifestyle changes
For stage 2 hypertension, the typical treatment, in addition to a healthier lifestyle, is medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications to help lower your blood pressure:
- ACE inhibitors to block substances that tighten blood vessels
- alpha blockers to help relax the arteries
- beta-blockers to decrease your heart rate and block substances that tighten blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers to relax blood vessels and decrease the work of your heart
- diuretics to decrease the amount of fluid in your body, including your blood vessels
A hypertensive crisis requires immediate treatment. Medications may be given orally or intravenously .
The most for a hypertensive crisis include:
- vasodilators, such as hydralazine, nitroglycerin, and nitroprusside
- beta-blockers, such as labetalol and esmolol
What Is Low Blood Pressure
While hypertension can be problematic for your overall health, blood pressure thats too low can also be cause for concern. With that said, the American Heart Association doesnt recognize a specific day-to-day blood pressure reading as too low. Instead, its a matter of what symptoms you may be experiencing due to low blood pressure, how these symptoms affect you and how long they persist.
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Average Ranges Show Normal Pressure On The Arteries
Blood pressure measures the force pressed against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood through your body.
Average blood pressure differs by sex and tends to rise with age. It’s important to know how blood pressure affects your health.
This article covers how healthcare providers differentiate between “normal” blood pressure and hypertension and includes blood pressure charts by age and gender. It will also discuss the health risks involved with hypertension, how you can monitor your blood pressure, and when you should call your healthcare provider.
What Are The New Blood Pressure Guidelines For Seniors 2020
Joanne Moss | Answered October 2, 2020
The new guidelines change nothing if youre younger than 60. But if youre 60 or older, the target has moved up: Your goal is to keep your blood pressure at 150/90 or lower. If you have kidney disease or diabetes, your target used to be 130/80 or lower now its 140/90 or lower.
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Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Throughout the day, your blood pressure can vary by between 30-40 mmHg depending on what you are doing. Having a stressful week at work, the temperature outside, and even what you had for lunch could affect your blood pressure reading.
Each time that you have your blood pressure measured, it is important that the test is carried out under similar conditions to ensure that the results are consistent. If you have a low blood pressure reading, your GP will first consider the everyday causes that might have affected it, before considering the possible underlying causes.
Why Your Blood Pressure Should Be Less Than 130/80
Your blood pressure is a good indicator of your overall health. Ideally, you want it to be less than 130/80 to prevent things like hypertension. However, what does this number mean, and why should your blood pressure be less than that?
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What About Blood Pressure Thats Too Low
Low blood pressure is known as hypotension. In adults, a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or below is often considered hypotension.
Hypotension can be dangerous because blood pressure thats too low doesnt supply your body and heart with enough oxygenated blood.
Some potential causes of hypotension can include:
Hypertension High Blood Pressure
Although we monitor the mean arterial pressure mainly for fear of it dropping too much, the majority of people should worry instead about having a too high blood pressure hypertension. As we have already mentioned, blood pressure is considered high when the systolic blood pressure is equal to or above 140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure is equal to or above 90 mm Hg.
Chronic hypertension leads to:
- Heart failure when the heart is no longer able to pump blood against such high pressure in the arteries.
- Bessel damage high blood pressure may create aneurysms, an outward balloon-like bulging in walls of arteries. This can lead to a bursting of artery and internal bleeding.
- Stroke remember always to check your patient’s consciousness status!
- Kidney failure.
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Why Is It Important To Know If You Have High Blood Pressure
Early detection of high blood pressure is very important. Often referred to as the silent killer because it may show no symptoms, high blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure, and stroke, among other things. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, more than 360,000 deaths in the United States included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.
Why Is Normal Blood Pressure Less Than 120 Over 80 And Why Don’t These Numbers Change According To A Person’s Height
Jeffrey Cutler, senior scientific adviser for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, explains.
Blood pressure readings include two numbers: systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The top number is the systolic pressure, which is the pressure within the arteries while the heart is pumping, whereas the bottom number is the diastolic pressure, a measure of pressure within the arteries while the heart is resting and refilling with blood. The exact origin of the designation of 120/80 as the threshold for “normal blood pressure” is unknown. It may have come from the large amount of data available early in the 20th century from life insurance exams and what happened to these people as they aged, or it could have arisen from the beliefs of medical practitioners, as so much traditional knowledge has. But modern epidemiologic studies have confirmed with a great deal of certainty that risk of a heart attack or stroke begins to increase in adults when the usual systolic blood pressure is 115 or higher and/or the usual diastolic blood pressure is 75 or higher. The risk steadily increases with higher and higher readings, so the traditional 120/80 level remains reasonable as a threshold for getting a doctor’s attention.
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The Effects Of Hypertension
Since your heart has to pump more forcefully if you have hypertension, your vessels will get damaged. As a result, itll be easier for bad cholesterol to get trapped, leading to plaque buildup, inflammation, and heart disease.
Whats happening is the rest of the body is feeling the effects of the higher pressure, says Kevin Dunsky, M.D. The higher it is, the more pounding the body is taking. While high blood pressure may not be immediately fatal, it will negatively impact your health in the long term.
Some issues may be reversed, but others are permanent. Because of this, you need to start taking care of your pressure now to avoid these damages in the first place.
What Do The Numbers Mean
When a healthcare professional takes your blood pressure, its expressed as a measurement with two numbers, one number on top and one on the bottom , like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. Thats what the mm/Hg stands for. Heres what the numbers mean:
- Your systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heart contracts or beats.
- Your diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries between beats, when your heart relaxes.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
Numbers greater than the ideal range may be a sign that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show:
- a systolic pressure thats above 90 mm Hg and less than 120 mm Hg, and
- a diastolic pressure thats between 60 mm Hg and less than 80 mm Hg
The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if high blood pressure runs in your family.
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The Increased Importance Of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring
The new blood pressure guidelines also encourage additional monitoring . You can do this by checking it on your own at home with a home blood pressure monitor or using a wearable digital monitor that continually takes blood pressure readings as you go about your life.
The added monitoring can help reduce masked hypertension or white coat high blood pressure .
There are clear, helpful directions for setting patients up with a home blood pressure monitor. This includes a recommendation to give people specific instructions on when not to check blood pressure.
If you are interested in checking out some home blood pressure monitors or sphygmomanometers you can check out the Blood Pressure Products page in this website.
This leads me to the next section of my article which covers the right way to take your blood pressure at home
When Should I Call My Doctor
Contact your healthcare provider if your blood pressure reading at home is lower or higher than normal. Call 911 if your reading is 180/120 millimeters of mercury or even if only one of those numbers is that high.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Even though you may not feel any symptoms, your blood pressure could be high. Its important to check your blood pressure regularly so you know if youre in the normal range. If you have high blood pressure, keep taking the medications your provider prescribed. Dont stop or start taking them without talking to your provider. Blood pressure medication doesnt keep working after you stop taking it. Keep all follow-up appointments so your provider can monitor your blood pressure, make any needed changes to your medications and help control your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/01/2022.
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When To Check Blood Pressure
- If your blood pressure is normal , get it checked every year, or more often as your doctor suggests.
- If your blood pressure is elevated — a systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 or diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 — your doctor will probably want to check it every 3-6 months. They will probably recommend lifestyle changes like more exercise and a better diet.
- If you have stage 1 hypertension — 130-139 over 89-90 — the doctor might suggest lifestyle changes and see you again in 3-6 months. Or they could tell you to make the changes and give you medication, then recheck your condition in a month. It depends on what other health conditions or risk factors you have.
- If you have stage 2 hypertension — 140/90 or higher — youâll likely get medication. You’ll also need to make lifestyle changes and see the doctor again in a month.
How To Maintain Normal Blood Pressure
Maintaining normal blood pressure has a lot to do with keeping a healthy lifestyle. However, for some individuals with hypertension, medications are sometimes needed because the risks are higher. Here are some things you should do to reduce your risk of hypertension:
- Moderate or cut down your alcohol intake
- Have regular medical checkups
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What Does The Diastolic Blood Pressure Number Mean
The diastolic reading, or the bottom number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. This is the time when the heart fills with blood and gets oxygen.
This is what your diastolic blood pressure number means:
- Normal: Lower than 80
- Stage 2 hypertension: 90 or more
- Hypertensive crisis: 120 or more. Call 911.
Our chart below has more details.
Even if your diastolic number is normal , you can have elevated blood pressure if the systolic reading is 120-129.
Commit To Managing Your Normal Blood Pressure
Remember you are part of your healthcare team! YOU, your doctor and the rest of the healthcare team at your healthcare facility are partners. If you like to maintain a Normal Blood Pressure learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home and educate yourself about High Blood Pressure.
Armed with this knowledge YOU CAN COMMIT TO LIVING HEALTHY!
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Does High Blood Pressure Increase Heart Rate
Heart rate and blood pressure do not necessarily increase at the same rate. A rising heart rate does not cause your blood pressure to increase at the same rate. Even though your heart is beating more times a minute, healthy blood vessels dilate to allow more blood to flow through more easily. When you exercise, your heart speeds up so more blood can reach your muscles. It may be possible for your heart rate to double safely, while your blood pressure may respond by only increasing a modest amount.
Whats Considered Elevated Blood Pressure
Blood pressure numbers that are higher than 120/80 mm Hg are a warning sign. It means you need to pay attention to your blood pressure and focus on heart-healthy habits.
Although these numbers arent technically considered high blood pressure, youve moved out of the normal range. Elevated blood pressure may turn into high blood pressure, which puts you at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Elevated blood pressure
When your systolic pressure is between 120 and 129mm Hgand your diastolic pressure is less than 80mm Hg, it means you have elevated blood pressure.
No medications are necessary for elevated blood pressure. But your doctor may talk with you about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing your weight.
You may receive a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension if:
- your systolic blood pressure is between 130 and 139 mm Hg, or
- your diastolic blood pressure is between 80 and 89 mm Hg
However, the AHA notes that if you get only one reading this high, you may not truly have stage 1 hypertension. What determines the diagnosis of hypertension at any stage is the average of your blood pressure numbers over a period of time.
Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether its too high.
Stage 1 hypertension
If your systolic blood pressure is 130 to 139 mm Hgor your diastolic blood pressure is 80 to 89 mm Hg, its considered stage 1 hypertension.
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