Low blood pressure is medically known as hypotension. In this condition, the systolic pressure is less than 90 mmHg, while the diastolic pressure is less than 60 mmHg. Systolic pressure is the pressure exerted in the blood vessels while the heart is beating and pumping blood into the vessels, while diastolic pressure refers to the pressure in the blood vessels while the heart is at rest between 2 beats. Usually, when a person suffers from low blood pressure, he or she does not have any symptoms.
In normal healthy people with no underlying health conditions, blood pressure is usually 120/80 mmHg. Many people wonder whether lower blood pressure naturally happens in seniors. No, it does not. If low blood pressure is seen in seniors, it is an indication that there is some underlying health problem. This is because lowered pressure means that insufficient blood is flowing to heart, brain and other important organs.
However, at the same time it must be pointed out that those who suffer from chronically low blood pressure have no cause for concern because invariably this condition is not serious. However, when the pressure falls all of sudden, the brain does not get sufficient amounts of oxygenated blood and this could result in a health problem. When pressure falls all of sudden, the person will experience dizziness. Usually, this is seen when a person stands after sitting or after lying down. In such a case, the lowered blood pressure is medically termed as postural hypotension.
Postural hypotension occurs due to a problem with the autonomic nervous system. This system controls important involuntary actions of the body like beating of the heart. Usually, when the system does not function properly, it cannot adjust to the sudden changes in the body. When a person stands up, due to gravity, blood tends to pool in the legs. If this is not corrected, it results in lowering of the blood pressure. However, under normal circumstances, the brain sends a signal to the heart to beat more rapidly and also to constrict the blood vessels. This helps to offset the lowering of pressure. However, in postural hypotension, this rectification either occurs too slowly or does not occur at all.
It goes without saying that as a person ages, the chances of developing low or high pressure increases. It is considered to be normal part of the aging process. Also, as a person ages, the flow of blood to the brain tends to reduce, most often due to build up of plaque in the blood vessels. It is seen that around ten percent to twenty percent of the population more than sixty-five years of age tend to suffer from postural hypotension.
So, it can be said that lower blood pressure does not occur naturally in seniors. Rather, it is a sign of an underlying health problem and the cause should be investigated.
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