Genetics and lifestyle have a significant influence on blood pressure. Age also affects changes in blood pressure over time. Older individuals who live healthy lifestyles and are blessed with good genetic foundations are likely to experience better blood pressure results when visiting doctors for checkups than their younger counterparts who are overweight, use tobacco and lead sedentary lifestyles. Young people can have high blood pressure for numerous reasons, but seniors may experience blood pressure that progressively elevates as the years go by. Doctors commonly intervene, using medications to prevent the long-term damage that high blood pressure can cause.
It is no secret that the elasticity of skin begins to decline as bodies age. Sagging skin is the bane of aging and a boon to plastic surgeons. Blood vessels also begin to lose elasticity as age increases. They do not sag but rather lose the ability to dilate and contract efficiently. Complex body mechanisms that include coronary output and urine retention and excretion by the kidneys assist in controlling blood pressure along with the dilation and contraction of blood vessels. Compromised elasticity of blood vessels due to aging can cause higher blood pressure.
Another affect on blood pressure associated with aging is the ability of bodies to respond to positional changes quickly. A normally functioning body can quickly respond to rapid body position changes, maintaining adequate blood flow to the head. There are many disease processes, including nerve damage, that can also cause bodies to lose the ability to rapidly respond to body position changes as well. The symptoms experienced usually begin with dizziness upon standing too quickly or rising quickly from bed or from a bent over position. It can get severe enough to cause loss of balance, falls and fainting.
Normally, bodies respond to rapid positional changes by quickly controlling blood flow to the core and extremities to keep blood pressure and volume constant and intact to the head. As bodies lose the ability to respond quickly to rapid position changes, blood volume and pressure drops at the highest point, which is the head, and dizziness and fainting can be a result. Though this can be a concomitant symptom in those with chronic low blood pressure, it can happen in others as well. It can also be caused by blood pressure medications that are lowering blood pressure too much as well as nerve damage from diabetes.
There are many treatments and medications available to help in maintaining proper blood pressure levels as age increases. This is why involvement of a medical doctor is necessary. Low blood pressure may manifest with symptoms such as dizziness, but high blood pressure usually does not have any symptoms at all yet can cause debilitating or life-ending strokes and kidney failure.