Most of us know that in general, the lower your blood pressure reading, the better. But under certain conditions, low blood pressure could be a cause for concern, especially in older patients.
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Your blood pressure needs to be high enough to do its job of supplying blood and providing vital oxygen to your limbs, organs and more importantly the brain, says cardiologist Mouin Abdallah, MD.
Deciding whether your blood pressure readings are too low depends more on your current and past health history than the numbers on your blood pressure unit, he says.
“A young healthy patient may have a resting blood pressure of 90/60 mmHg and feel absolutely fine,” he says. “On the other hand, an older patient with heart problems, might feel weak and dizzy with a blood pressure of 115/70 mmHg.”
Your doctors are interested in your blood pressure because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart, brain, kidney and blood vessel disease.
Your blood pressure is a measurement of the force inside your arteries every time your heart beats. A normal blood pressure is 120 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic. Systolic pressure, which is the first or top number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating and the arteries are filled with blood. Diastolic pressure, which is the bottom or second number, is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is resting between beats.
- Blood Pressure 102/64
- A blood pressure reading of 102/64 is Normal.
- Low Blood Pressure
- Jenny’s Journey
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Everyday causes
- Underlying causes
- Other causes
- Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline
- What is low blood pressure?
- Is low blood pressure a problem?
- What are the signs and symptoms of low blood pressure?
- What causes low blood pressure?
- When should I see a doctor?
- Treating low blood pressure
- Blood Pressure Numbers: When to Get Help
- Topic Overview
Why problems occur
Dr. Abdallah says blood pressure depends on three things:
- Stroke volume, which is the amount of blood ejected from the heart per beat
- Heart rate
- Blood vessel tone, which is how clear and flexible your blood vessels are
“Disorders that affect any of these three things can result in low blood pressure,” he says.
For example, heart failure combined with low stroke volume can spell trouble if a person’s blood vessels are unable to respond properly to maintain adequate blood pressure. Excessively slow heart rate — called bradycardia — also can result in dangerously low blood pressure.
Some conditions can impair blood vessel health and result in low blood pressure. Examples include infections, paralysis — which can be injury or stroke-related— and certain endocrine disorders such as low cortisol levels.
Fluctuating blood pressure
Autonomic disorders cause the tone of the blood vessels and even the heart rate to rise and fall. As a result, blood pressure also can fluctuate widely with these types of disorders.
Medications are one of the most common reasons for too-low blood pressure, Dr. Abdallah says. They can sometimes cause blood pressure to go up and down, particularly shorter-acting blood pressure medications that act fast, but result in a rebound increase in blood pressure and heart rate when they wear off.
When to call the doctor
Consult your doctor if you experience symptoms such as light-headedness, fainting or feeling weak, as they might be related to too-low blood pressure.
If you have kidney or liver problems, or you have had a stroke or are at risk for stroke should have your blood pressure monitored carefully. Insufficient blood pressure could restrict critical blood supply to the organs and the brain.
For most people, however, a low blood pressure reading is a thing to celebrate.
“If you feel perfectly fine, then odds are your blood pressure, even if lower than average, is probably OK for you,” Dr. Abdallah says.
A blood pressure reading of 102/64 is Normal.
View the full blood pressure chart to learn more about blood pressure readings.
What does a blood pressure reading of 102/64 mean?
Readings above 90/60 and below 120/80 indicate that the blood pressure in your arteries is Normal.
What to do if your blood pressure reading is 102/64
You don’t have to do anything if you’re not on blood pressure medicine and have no other symptoms. You just keep on doing you!
Medications with Blood Pressure of 102/64
Already on blood pressure medication? If so, you may be taking more blood pressure medication than needed if your systolic (upper number) blood pressure is regularly greater than 110.
Talk to your doctor about adjusting your blood pressure medication dosage.
Lifestyle Changes with Blood Pressure of 102/64
Looking to get ahead of the curve and minimize the chance of developing high blood pressure? Lifestyle modifications for those with a blood pressure of 102/64 include the following:
- Stop smoking
- Lose weight
- Increase exercise
- Lower salt intake
- Reduce caffeine
- Limit alcohol
- Alleviate stress
So whether you decide to lay off the potato chips, make one less stop a week at the coffee shop or try out goat yoga, you’ll be doing one more thing to ensure your blood pressure stays normal.
Low Blood Pressure
How low can a person’s blood pressure drop before it’s cause for concern?
— May, Missouri
Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is rarely cause for concern — unless it’s extremely low and related to shock. Hypotension is commonly defined as a blood pressure less than 100/60 (pressure between 100/60 and 120/80 is considered optimal). For most people, living with low blood pressure is not an issue. In fact, studies show that the lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. That said, there are a couple of conditions regarding low blood pressure that I’d like to explain.
The first is postural hypotension, medically known as orthostatic hypotension. This is a type of low blood pressure that develops momentarily when someone rises too quickly from a sitting or lying down position and there is inadequate blood flow to the brain. Individuals can sometimes pass out from postural hypotension, although lightheadedness or dizziness that goes away on its own in a few seconds or a minute or two is more typical.
Postural hypotension is more common in the elderly: Roughly 15 percent of those over age 65 experience it, but it seldom needs to be treated. Once a person is aware of the condition, learning to get up slowly usually resolves the problem. Occasionally, this form of hypotension is severe enough to require treatment — and sometimes it is a sign of another ailment, such as a virus. In addition, dehydration, extended bed rest, lack of exercise, and certain medications can all be factors associated with increased episodes of postural hypotension. If you are susceptible to frequent incidents, your condition should be evaluated by a physician.
Is 102/64 Good Blood Pressure or High Blood Pressure?
There are two parts or two separate numbers referred to as blood pressure: Systolic/Diastolic. If the blood pressure is 102/64 (102 over 64), it means that the systolic pressure is 102 and the diastolic pressure is 64.
102/64 blood pressure can also be read as 102/64 mm Hg, or 102/64 millimeters of mercury. The 102 mm Hg Systolic refers to the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats, and the 64 mm Hg Diastolic is the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.
When determining if 102/64 is a good blood pressure, we looked at the American Heart Association’s blood pressure chart below.
Normal Blood Pressure
Systolic: Less than 120
Diastolic: Less than 80
Prehypertension Blood Pressure
Systolic: From 120 to 139
Diastolic: From 80 to 89
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1
Systolic: From 140 to 159
Diastolic: From 90 to 99
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2
Systolic: 160 or higher
Diastolic: 100 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis (Emergency care needed)
Systolic: Higher than 180
Diastolic: Higher than 110
For 102/64 to be good, both numbers must fit into the “normal” category above. Otherwise, it will fall into other categories of High Blood Pressure.
Systolic reading of 102 is in the Normal range. Diastolic reading of 64 is in the Normal range.
Therefore, 102/64 is good blood pressure.
Blood Pressure Lookup
Check another another blood pressure number here:
Note: Your blood pressure reading may have been recorded wrong and our information above may not apply to you. The information on this page does not apply to young people or people with special conditions. This page is simply informational. We think you should see a doctor for ALL medical health questions and concerns.
Is 102/65 Good Blood Pressure or High Blood Pressure?
Here is the next Blood Pressure (BP) reading on our list that we have interpreted.
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Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Throughout the day, your blood pressure can vary by between 30-40 mmHg (both systolic and diastolic) depending on what you are doing. Having a stressful week at work, the temperature outside, and even what you had for lunch could affect your blood pressure reading.
Each time that you have your blood pressure measured, it is important that the test is carried out under similar conditions to ensure that the results are consistent. If you have a low blood pressure reading, your GP will first consider the everyday causes that might have affected it, before considering the possible underlying causes.
Many factors have a daily, or sometimes even hourly, effect on your heart and circulation. Below are things that could affect your blood pressure and, in some cases, may cause low blood pressure.
- The time of day – your blood pressure falls overnight so it will be low in the morning.
- Your age – typically, blood pressure rises as you get older, although postural, or orthostatic, and postprandial hypotension are also more likely in the elderly.
- How stressed or relaxed you are – if you are stressed, your heart will beat faster and your blood pressure will increase, and the opposite if you are relaxed.
- How much exercise you do – initially, exercise will raise your blood pressure, but if you are healthy and exercise regularly, your blood pressure will be low when you are resting.
- Your temperature – if you are cold, your heartbeat will slow down, and your blood pressure will fall.
- If you have recently eaten – blood will be used for digesting food in your stomach, so the blood pressure elsewhere in your body will fall.
If your blood pressure is still considered low after taking into account everyday factors such as those listed above, there may be another cause. Some possibilities are explained below.
Some medication may cause hypotension as a side effect. This tends to be orthostatic, or postural hypotension (low blood pressure when you stand up or change position). Examples of medication that can cause hypotension include:
- beta-blockers – these may be prescribed after a problem with your heart or hypertension (high blood pressure)
- alpha-blockers – these are prescribed to lower blood pressure for people with hypertension
- some antidepressants
Your GP will discuss any possible side effects with you when prescribing medication. While you are taking medication, your blood pressure will be carefully monitored if you are considered to be at risk of hypotension.
Serious illnesses or conditions
If you have an acute (short-term) illness, your blood pressure will be measured regularly because it is a good indicator of the severity of your illness. A heart condition, such as heart failure or a heart attack, can also cause low blood pressure, as your heart may not be able to pump blood around your body.
Autonomic disorders affect your autonomic nervous system and they can cause hypotension. Your autonomic nervous system is part of your nervous system (the network of cells that carry information around your body). It controls the bodily functions that you do not actively think about, such as sweating, digestion and the beating of your heart.
The autonomic nervous system also controls the widening and narrowing of your blood vessels. If there is a problem with it, your blood vessels could remain too wide, causing low blood pressure. In particular, autonomic disorders tend to cause orthostatic hypotension.
Some examples of autonomic disorders are:
- diabetes mellitus – a long-term (chronic) condition caused by too much glucose (sugar) in the blood,
- Parkinson’s disease – a chronic condition that affects the way the brain coordinates body movements
- multiple system atrophy – a disorder that causes the brain signals to the muscles and limbs responsible for movement to deteriorate.
The adrenal glands are two small glands that are located just above your kidneys. They produce hormones that control your blood pressure and maintain the balance of salt and water in your body. One of the hormones they produce is called aldosterone, which is responsible for controlling the amount of salt in your body.
If your adrenal glands become damaged – for example through an infection or a tumour – the production of aldosterone may be reduced, resulting in a loss of salt from your body. This can cause dehydration which, in turn, leads to low blood pressure.
If a problem with your adrenal glands is diagnosed, it can be treated by increasing the amount of aldosterone in your body. This could also be a symptom of Addison’s disease (a condition in which the adrenal glands cannot produce enough of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone). Addison’s disease can also be treated with medication.
Serious injuries and shock
Low blood pressure can also be caused by serious injuries or burns, particularly if you have lost a lot of blood. This can mean that there is less blood being pumped around your body. Low blood pressure can also occur if you go into shock after having a serious injury.
Other kinds of shock are described below.
Septic shock and toxic shock syndrome
Septic shock and toxic shock syndrome are caused by bacterial infections. The bacteria attack the walls of the small blood vessels, causing them to leak fluid from the blood into the surrounding tissues. This causes a significant drop in blood pressure (severe hypotension).
Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is caused by an allergic reaction to something – for example, a wasp sting or a peanut. During an allergic reaction, your body produces a large amount of a chemical called histamine, which causes your blood vessels to widen and leads to a sudden, severe drop in blood pressure.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when your heart cannot supply enough blood to your body, so your blood pressure drops. This can happen during a heart attack.
Other possible causes of low blood pressure are:
- Rare nerve conditions – if the nerves in your legs are affected, you may experience a severe drop in blood pressure when you stand up (postural or orthostatic hypotension).
- Increasing age – as you get older, your arteries can become stiffer. If they do not constrict (get smaller), your blood pressure may drop, particularly when you stand up.
- Pregnancy – during the early to mid stages of pregnancy, low blood pressure is fairly common.
- Prolonged bed rest – low blood pressure may possibly occur as a result of moving less and having overall less nervous system activity.
- Dehydration – low blood pressure may occur following particularly severe dehydration from vomiting and diarrhoea because the lack of water and salt in your body will reduce the volume of your blood.
- Your genes – some research has suggested that low blood pressure is genetic. If your parents have low blood pressure, it is possible that you could inherit it from them.
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When the heart is squeezing blood into the arteries, the pressure is high. When the heart is relaxed, the pressure is lower.
Your blood pressure is a measurement taken of the highest reading and the lowest reading. It is given as two figures — highest over lowest. Blood pressure is measured in ‘mmHg’, which refers to millimetres of mercury.
What is low blood pressure?
Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension.
Most doctors would say that you have low blood pressure if it is below 90/60 mm/Hg. Your doctor will refer to this as ‘90 over 60’.
Is low blood pressure a problem?
For some people, low blood pressure is a sign of good health. These are generally people who are very fit and who have a slow pulse. For other people, low blood pressure is a problem.
Often, people with low blood pressure can be expected to lead longer lives.
However, people who experience continuing symptoms of low blood pressure should see a doctor. Sudden, severe low blood pressure (shock) can be associated with serious medical conditions.
What are the signs and symptoms of low blood pressure?
The symptoms of low blood pressure may include:
- blurry vision
- pale, clammy skin
These symptoms can occur when doing nothing. They are more likely to occur when changing position, such as standing up or when straining on the toilet.
However, often there are no symptoms and low blood pressure is often only identified as a result of a routine medical examination or during the course of an investigation for some other condition or underling illness.
Low blood pressure may be more serious in elderly people who may have an underlying illness or who may be at risk of a fall.
Check your symptoms with healthdirect’s Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
What causes low blood pressure?
Apart from being very fit, people can have low blood pressure if they:
- are overheated, either from the weather, from hot baths or showers, or from wearing too many clothes
- have too little blood circulating, either from donating blood, or from bleeding heavily, or from being dehydrated
- are pregnant
- are taking one of many different types of medicines
- have a lot of drugs or alcohol in the system
- are having an allergic reaction
- are seriously ill with an infection
- have certain heart conditions
- have a disorder of the nervous system or glandular (endocrine) system
- are in severe pain
- have nutritional deficiencies
There is also a particular type of low blood pressure called ‘postural hypotension’ or ‘orthostatic hypotension’. In this condition, a person’s blood pressure is normal when they are sitting or lying down, but it drops suddenly when they stand, making them feel dizzy or lightheaded. This can also occur when standing too long without moving.
Postural hypotension is fairly common, more so in older people. It can be caused by one of the situations or conditions listed above. If it happens often, or if it causes problems, you should see your doctor about it.
When should I see a doctor?
If you think you might have symptoms of low blood pressure listed above, it’s best to see your doctor.
Treating low blood pressure
If there is an underlying cause for your low blood pressure, and it is giving you problems, you may need treatment for that underlying cause. But if it isn’t causing you problems, treatment won’t be needed.
Your doctor may advise you to take precautions to prevent episodes of low blood pressure, such as avoiding dehydration, hot showers, or standing up too quickly.
Blood Pressure Numbers: When to Get Help
If you check your blood pressure, you may wonder when an abnormal reading means you should call your doctor. This information can help you understand what your blood pressure numbers mean and when you need to call for help.
What do blood pressure numbers mean?
Your blood pressure consists of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Someone with a systolic pressure of 117 and a diastolic pressure of 78 has a blood pressure of 117/78, or “117 over 78.”
It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. But if it stays up, you have high blood pressure. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.
High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other problems. You and your doctor will talk about your risks of these problems based on your blood pressure.
Your doctor will give you a goal for your blood pressure. Your goal will be based on your health and your age.
In general, the lower your blood pressure, the better. For example, a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 is healthy as long as you feel okay.
What can cause a short-term change in blood pressure?
It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. Things like exercise, stress, and sleeping can affect your blood pressure. Some medicines can cause a spike in blood pressure, including certain asthma medicines and cold remedies.
A low blood pressure reading can be caused by many things, including some medicines, a severe allergic reaction, or an infection. Another cause is dehydration, which is when your body loses too much fluid.
When should you get help for an abnormal blood pressure reading?
One high or low blood pressure reading by itself may not mean you need to call for help. If you take your blood pressure and it is out of the normal range, wait a few minutes and take it again. If it’s still high or low, use the following guidance.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your blood pressure is much higher than normal (such as 180/120 or higher).
- You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms such as:
- Severe headache.
- Blurry vision.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- Your blood pressure measures higher than your doctor recommends at least 2 times. That means the top number is higher or the bottom number is higher, or both.
- You think you may be having side effects from your blood pressure medicine.