The most common symptom of orthostatic hypotension is feeling lightheaded or dizzy when you stand up after sitting or lying down. This feeling, and other symptoms, usually happens shortly after standing up and generally lasts only a few seconds. Orthostatic hypotension signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy after standing up
- Blurry vision
- Fainting (syncope)
When to see a doctor
Occasional dizziness or lightheadedness may be relatively minor — the result of mild dehydration, low blood sugar, or too much time in the sun or a hot tub, for example. Dizziness or lightheadedness may also happen when you stand after sitting for a long time, such as in a lecture, concert or church. If these symptoms happen only occasionally, it's usually not cause for concern.
It's important to see your doctor if you experience frequent symptoms of orthostatic hypotension because they sometimes can point to more-serious problems. It can be helpful to keep a record of your symptoms, when they occurred, how long they lasted and what you were doing at the time. If these occur at times that may endanger you or others, discuss this with your doctor.
May 13, 2014
- Orthostatic hypotension. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/symptoms_of_cardiovascular_disorders/orthostatic_hypotension.html?qt=orthostatic%20hypotension&alt=sh. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- What is hypotension? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hyp/. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Kaufmann H, et al. Mechanisms, causes, and evaluation of orthostatic hypotension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Low blood pressure. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Low-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301785_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Low PA, et al. Management of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension: An update. Lancet Neurology. 2008;7:451.
- What is an electrocardiogram? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg/. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- What is echocardiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/echo/. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Kaufmann H, et al. Treatment of orthostatic and postprandial hypotension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 17, 2014.
- Figueroa JJ, et al. Preventing and treating orthostatic hypotension: As easy as A, B, C. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2010;77:298.
- FDA approves Northera to treat neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm386311.htm. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.