Blood pressure


Impairment of oxygen-carrying blood to the central balance part of the brain by the vertebro-basilar artery can cause dizziness and lightheadedness. High blood pressure (hypertension) may be associated with hardening and narrowing of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) whilst drug treatment may cause excessive reduction of the blood pressure. When a person stands up reflex contraction of muscles in blood vessel walls of the legs prevents pooling of blood due to gravity. The automatic (autonomic) nervous system controls this reflex. Patients with an autonomic neuropathy may suddenly drop their blood pressure (hypotension) and suffer lightheadedness, a faint or a drop attack.


Blood pressure is measured by the ENT practice nurse with a standard cuff applied to the upper arm. Postural hypotension is identified by measuring the blood pressure initially with the patient lying down. The patient is then asked to stand up quickly and the blood pressure reading recorded again.

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