Low Blood Pressure Dangers

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Low blood pressure is a more common term for hypotension and is the opposite of hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypotension occurs when the heart does not work hard enough to push blood through the body. In some cases, the body does not need the heart to work any harder. However, your health may be at risk if lower blood pressure is not the norm for you, and if your blood pressure drops suddenly without warning.

Identification

  • According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there are no specific numbers that reveal whether a person's blood pressure can be considered too low, as anything below 120/80 mm Hg is considered within normal range. However, low blood pressure reaches a dangerous level when it falls all of a sudden and is accompanied with alarming symptoms.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of hypotension, according to the AHA, may include blurred vision, dehydration, depression, difficulties concentrating, dizziness, clamminess, fainting, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea and rapid or shallow breathing. Call a doctor, especially if you start to feel off balance.

Causes

  • There are several medical conditions in which low blood pressure can occur, such as blood loss, thyroid disease, various nutritional deficiencies, infections, allergic reactions, dehydration, heart disease and pregnancy. Also, certain prescription drugs can be attributed to low pressure, especially those for heart disease and high blood pressure. If you take such prescription drugs, ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications, as the combination may induce hypotension.

Prevention/Solution

  • If your blood pressure falls 30 percent below your personal normal level, a doctor should probably examine you. If you make this discovery on your own, call your physician. Some people naturally have low blood pressure, such as athletes. Overall, lower blood pressure is better than hypertension, as your risk of stroke and heart disease may be lower as well. Still, such individuals should check their blood pressure periodically and to watch for any symptoms of sudden drops.

Warning

  • As soon as you suspect that your blood pressure is lower than normal, see a doctor immediately. Low blood pressure can deprive your organs of vital nutrients and oxygen they need in order to function properly. Therefore, prolonged low blood pressure can damage your organs, and may cause arteriosclerosis (hardening of arteries), eye damage, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

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