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 only lasts a few seconds. Orthostatic hypotension symptoms include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy after standing up
  • Blurry vision
  • Weakness
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Confusion
  • Nausea

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 occur, 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.

Jul. 20, 2011