Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

What are low blood pressure signs and symptoms?

If low blood pressure is the normal state for a patient, then there will be no symptoms. However, if low blood pressure is symptomatic, then the patient may feel the following:

  • Lightheaded and dizzy
  • Unsteadiness as blood flow to the brain is decreased
  • Blurring of vision
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea

What is low blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. It constitutes one of the critically important signs of life or vital signs which include heart beat, breathing, and temperature. Blood pressure is generated by the heart pumping blood into the arteries modified by the response of the arteries to the flow of blood.

An individual's blood pressure is expressed as systolic/diastolic blood pressure, for example, 120/80. The systolic blood pressure (the top number) represents the pressure in the arteries as the muscle of the heart contracts and pumps blood into them. The diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) represents the pressure in the arteries as the muscle of the heart relaxes following its contraction. Blood pressure always is higher when the heart is pumping (squeezing) than when it is relaxing.

Reviewed on 7/14/2014

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