What's The Difference: High Blood Pressure VS Low Blood Pressure

Do you know the difference between high blood pressure and low blood pressure? Your Gilbert, AZ, cardiologists, Dr. Zaki Lababidi and Dr. Khaled Albasha of Gilbert Cardiology diagnose and treat both conditions.

How is blood pressure measured?

Blood pressure is the force of your blood as it pushes against your arteries. Your cardiologist looks at two numbers when measuring your pressure with a sphygmomanometer, also called a blood pressure monitor. The first number, systolic pressure, measures the force of your blood against the artery walls when your heart beats. Diastolic pressure, the second number, refers to the pressure when your heart takes a short rest between heartbeats.

If your systolic measurement is less than 120 and your diastolic number is less than 80, you have normal blood pressure. Blood pressure readings are measured in millimeters of mercury and written as mm Hg. For example, your doctor or the medical staff may say that your blood pressure is 120 over 80 and write your blood pressure as 120/80 mm Hg.

How do high blood pressure and low pressure differ?

Both high blood pressure and low blood pressure readings may be a cause for concern during your visit to the Gilbert, AZ, cardiology office. Although everyone's blood pressure naturally rises and falls during the day, consistently low or high blood pressure must be monitored and treated if necessary.

High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs when the force of blood against the artery walls is too strong, while not enough force is the problem with low blood pressure (hypotension).

What are the symptoms of high and low blood pressure?

High blood pressure usually doesn't cause any symptoms, even as it's damaging your arteries and increasing your risk of stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and other diseases and conditions. Some people with very high blood pressure may develop headaches, bloody nose, shortness of breath, confusion, or chest pain.

If your systolic reading is 120 - 139 and your diastolic reading is 80 - 89, you are at risk of developing high blood pressure. You will be diagnosed with high blood pressure if your systolic reading is 140 or higher and your diastolic pressure is 90 or higher.

Low blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure reading is lower than 90/60 mm Hg. Symptoms of low blood pressure may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Blurry Vision
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Fatigue

Low blood pressure can occur for many reasons, including dehydration, standing up too quickly, experiencing an allergic reaction, or as a side effect of some prescription medications. Lower than normal blood pressure can also be a sign of a health condition or infection.

Prompt treatment is essential for both high blood pressure and low blood pressure. Call (480) 786-9100 to schedule an appointment with your cardiologists in Gilbert, AZ, Dr. Lababidi and Dr. Albasha of Gilbert Cardiology

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