High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition, in which the long term elevated force of your blood against your artery walls is high enough to eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. High blood pressure develops slowly over time, and eventually affects almost everybody.
Symptoms of High Blood Pressure
Many people live with high blood pressure with no symptoms, often for years. However, even without symptoms, the damage to your blood vessels and heart continues. Uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
When Should You See A Doctor?
Your doctor will most likely check your blood pressure as a part of a routine appointment. If you are 40 years old or older, you should ask your doctor for a blood pressure reading at least every two years. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, even if you are younger, you should ask your doctor for a reading every year.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is by definition lower than 90/60 mm Hg. For some people, it causes no problems, but for many people, it can lead to dizziness and fainting.
What are the Causes of Low Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure can be caused by dehydration or serious medical disorders. If you suspect you might have low blood pressure, talk to your doctor so that you can get to the cause and treat it appropriately.
Some common causes include:
- Heart problems (low heart rate, heart valve problems, heart failure or heart attack)
- Endocrine problems (low blood sugar, parathyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency)
- Blood loss (e.g. from a major injury or surgery)
- Some medications
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
People with low blood pressure may experience:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
- Inability to concentrate