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Vasoconstriction – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What is Vasoconstriction?

This is the narrowing of the blood vessels that result from contraction of the vessels muscular walls, particularly the large arteries and the small arterioles. This progression is the exact opposite of vasodilation, which is the widening or opening up of the blood vessels. The development is especially important in stopping hemorrhages and acute loss of blood. When blood vessels narrow the blood flow is decreased or restricted, retaining heat from the body or growing vascular conflict.

Cutaneously, this makes the skin look paler since less blood is reaching the surface, reducing the heat radiation. On a larger level, vasoconstriction is one way the body normalizes and preserves mean arterial pressure.

Vasoconstriction Symptoms

The results of vasoconstriction include symptoms such as:

  • Cramps
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Blood pressure that is high
  • Headache
  • Double-vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Clumsiness/imbalance
  • Muscular paralysis
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Color change in skin

Vasoconstriction Causes

There are many medications as well as substances that can cause vasoconstriction. Some of these include:

  • Caffeine
  • Moderate consumption of alcohol
  • Sodium
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestant
  • Drugs referred to as stimulants
  • Cocaine
  • Nicotine

Vasoconstriction Treatment

Since vasoconstriction is when blood vessels constrict and decreases the flowing of blood, then treatment for this would include using vasodilators such as alpha adrenoceptor antagonists, or calcium-channel blockers to widen the blood vessels to help with the flow of blood.

One hour of cardiovascular exercise each day promotes circulation and vasodilation.


Avoid caffeine, nicotine, cold as well as stress will also help with circulation and vasodilation.

Some individuals have an interest in the treatment for red eye. This occurs when the blood vessels of the white portion of the eye are irritated and enlarged causing the entire white area to become red. If your vision is not reduced, there is no light sensitivity and there is no pain, there are several home remedies that can be tried to counteract this condition.

Cold icepacks will help to narrow the blood vessels in the eye. So try making a cold icepack with ice water and apply it to the closed eye for up to 10 minutes a few times per day.

You might try an over the counter vasoconstrictor antihistamine eye drop. This will control any itching and because they contain a vasoconstrictor which can shrink any swollen blood vessels to reduce the redness.

Basically if you have symptoms caused by vasodilation – or blood vessels that are widen and have an increased blood flow, the way to counteract these symptoms is to use a vasoconstrictor which will reverse the effects of widened blood vessels by shrinking the blood vessels and reducing the flow of blood.

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