What Causes Head Rushes and How to Prevent Them from Occurring


Head rushes are caused by a rapid drop in your blood pressure when you stand up.

They usually cause dizziness that lasts from a couple seconds to a couple minutes. A head rush may also cause temporary lightheadednessblurred vision, and confusion.

Most people experience occasional head rushes. They generally aren’t a cause for concern. However, if your head rushes occur often, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

In this article, we’ll cover the potential causes of your head rushes and look at ways you can prevent them from occurring.

A head rush is a sudden drop in your blood pressure when you stand up from a lying or seated position. The medical term for this is orthostatic hypotension, or postural hypotension.

The medical definitionTrusted Source of a head rush is a systolic blood pressure drop of at least 20 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) or a diastolic blood pressure drop of at least 10 mm Hg within 2 to 5 minutes of standing.

When you stand up quickly, gravity pulls your blood toward your legs and your blood pressure quickly drops. Approximately 10 to 15 percentTrusted Source of your blood pools in your lower body when you stand.

Your body’s reflexes keep your blood pressure constant when you stand. For example, they’ll pump more blood and constrict your blood vessels. When these reflexes don’t act properly, you may experience the dizziness and lightheadedness of a head rush.

You may also experience the following symptoms when standing quickly:

You can have isolated head rushes, or they may be a chronic problem.

Anybody can experience a head rush, but they’re particularly common in people over the age of 65. As many as 18.2 percentTrusted Source of people in this age range may experience head rushes.

The following conditions may potentially lead to head rushes:

The following lifestyle changes may help you minimize the frequency of your head rushes. However, if your head rushes are caused by an underlying medical condition, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor. They can diagnose your condition and find the best treatment options.

Staying hydrated

Dehydration may lead to head rushes even in healthy individuals. When you become dehydrated, your total blood volume may decreaseTrusted Source. When your total volume of blood decreases, your overall blood pressure also drops.

Dehydration may also cause weakness, dizziness, and fatigue along with head rushes.

Standing up slower

If you frequently have head rushes, standing up more slowly from seated and lying positions may help. This gives your body’s natural reflexes more time to adjust to changes in blood pressure.

Avoid hot environments

Sweating heavily can cause you to lose water and electrolytes and increase your risk of developing dehydration. Replenishing fluids regularly may help prevent head rushes and other symptoms of dehydration.

Minimizing alcohol intake

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes you to lose fluids. Consuming alcohol may dehydrate you and increase your risk of developing a head rush. Consuming plenty of water and electrolytes with alcohol may help minimize dehydration.

Most people have experienced an occasional head rush. If your head rushes are caused from dehydration or prolonged sitting, they’re likely not serious.

However, if you have reoccurring head rushes, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor to see if your head rushes might be caused by a medical condition.

It’s also a good idea to speak to a doctor if your head rushes cause you to stumble, fall, faint, or give you double vision.

Anybody can experience the occasional head rush. However, certain factors can increase your risk.

Medications

Taking medications that lower your blood pressure may increase your risk of developing dizziness and lightheadedness. Medications that may cause head rushes include the following categories.

Extended bed rest

If you’re in bed for an extended period of time, you may become weak and experience a head rush when getting up. Getting out of bed slowly may help keep your blood pressure stable.

Aging

As you age, the reflexes that control your body’s ability to stabilize your blood pressure start to work less efficiently.

Although you can’t stop aging completely, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and living an overall healthy lifestyle may help you maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

Pregnancy

Head rushes are common in pregnant women. Hormonal changes cause your blood vessels to relax and may cause your blood pressure to drop. Many women notice their blood pressure drop in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Diseases

A variety of different heart conditions may increase your risk of low blood pressure and developing head rushes. These include valve problems and heart attacksParkinson’s diseasediabetes, and other diseases that damage your nerves may also cause head rushes.

Most people experience the occasional head rush. You’re particularly likely to have a head rush if you’re over the age of 65. This is because your body becomes less efficient at regulating blood pressure as it ages.

Head rushes are often caused by dehydration. Replenishing fluids especially when exercising may help you prevent head rushes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult man needs 15.5 cups of water per day and the average woman needs 11.5 cups per day. If you live in a hot climate, you may need to drink even more water.

If your head rushes are reoccurring or cause you to faint, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor to discuss treatment options.

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