Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Blurred Vision?

Doctor checking blood pressure

Low blood pressure is typically a good thing for most people. If you have low blood pressure, you have a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80 (120/80). However, your blood pressure can reach a point where it is too low. When that occurs, you experience a condition doctors call hypotension.

The causes of low blood pressure can range from medical disorders to chronic dehydration. Common symptoms of low blood pressure include:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • lack of concentration

Another symptom of low blood pressure is blurred vision. If you experience blurred vision combined with other symptoms, you should schedule an eye exam in West Florida.

What is Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, occurs when your blood pressure consistently falls below 90/60. Chronic low blood pressure with no symptoms is rarely serious. But health problems can occur when blood pressure drops suddenly, and your brain does not receive an adequate blood supply. It can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness.

Sudden drops in blood pressure most commonly occur when lying down, or when going from a sitting position to a standing position. This kind of low blood pressure is known as postural or orthostatic hypotension. Another type of low blood pressure can occur when you stand for a long period.

What Causes Low Blood Pressure

Doctors cannot always pinpoint the cause of low blood pressure. One of the reasons they cannot is because there are several possible causes, including:

PregnancyBlood vessel dilation
HormonesBlood vessel widening
MedicationsHeat exhaustion
Heart failureHeatstroke
Heart arrhythmiaLiver disease 

How Does Low Blood Pressure Affect Vision?

One condition that can arise from low blood pressure is blurred vision. How does low blood pressure cause blurred vision? The condition occurs due to poor circulation in the blood vessels that supply the front portion of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the cable that connects the brain to the eye and carries millions of nerve fibers and blood vessels.

Although blurred vision can occur from a total blockage of a blood vessel that feeds the optic nerve, it is more commonly caused by a lack of pressure or perfusion of the tissue. Blood pressure may change relative to the eye pressure, and the normal flow of blood reduces. If the optic nerve's nutrient and oxygen supply stops due to low blood pressure, nerve tissue is damaged and lost. This results in vision loss or blurred vision.

Low Blood Pressure, Dehydration, and Blurred Vision

An often-overlooked cause of blurry vision is dehydration. When you become severely dehydrated, your blood pressure drops, leading to dizziness. The brain may not receive enough oxygen.

The levels of important electrolytes such as sodium and potassium may also drop due to dehydration. Electrolytes transfer electrical signals throughout the body. If the levels become too low, the signal transfer becomes abnormal.

The combination of low blood pressure and an electrolyte imbalance due to dehydration can cause blurry vision. If you experience blurred vision, dizziness and a headache all at once, increase your water intake and schedule an exam with an eye doctor in West Florida.

Schedule an Eye Exam Today

Contact Gulf Coast Vision Center today at one of our Pace, Milton, Crestview or Pensacola locations to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.