Difference between High and Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is that force the blood exerts on the walls of its vessels as it moves. Normally, a person cannot notice or feel blood pressure. It can only be measured by medical equipment. When the blood pressure is too high, it may increase the risk of stroke, kidney damage, heart failure, eye problems, or stroke.


High blood pressure vs Low blood pressure
Blood pressure monitoring equipment (sphygmomanometer)

High blood pressure is a condition in which a person has a blood pressure reading that is consistently 140/90 or higher for a long period of time, usually weeks. High blood pressure can also be diagnosed in a person if one of the numbers shows a higher reading than it should.

Low blood pressure is when a person is diagnosed with blood pressure which is lower than normal, usually 90/60 or less. In most cases low blood pressure is nothing to worry about since it means that you have a low risk of stroke or heart disease.

Comparison Chart

High blood pressure Low blood pressure
Has a sphygmomanometer reading of 140/90 or more Has a sphygmomanometer reading of 90/60 or less
May lead to stroke or heart problems Serious only in extreme situations

High vs Low blood pressure

What is the difference between high and low blood pressure? The difference is in the amount of pressure the blood exerts on the blood vessels as shown on the sphygmomanometer, as well as their respective symptoms.

  • Low blood pressure (also called hypotension) is when the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings are 90 and 60 or less respectively. High blood pressure (also called hypertension), on the other hand, is when the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings are 140 and 90 or more respectively. Also, if one of the numbers is lower than normal, that counts as low blood pressure. The same case applies to high blood pressure where if one of the numbers is higher than it should be, it is diagnosed as high blood pressure.
  • Low blood pressure is mostly a signal of an underlying problem, especially if it is accompanied by symptoms such as lightheadedness or dizziness, nausea, fatigue, fainting, blurred vision, and rapid and shallow breathing. High blood pressure does not show any symptoms in most people. However, a few people may have headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath. When you have high blood pressure, there is extra strain on your blood vessels and heart. This can lead to stroke or heart problems over time.


Here is a simple animated video to help you know what blood pressure is and when it is deemed to be high: