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Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

Information about Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

We Have to Know about the Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

  • Loss of consciousness that occurs when you experience a significant reduction of blood flow to your brain. Fainting is often caused by a significant drop in blood pressure or from a very slow heart rate.
  • Fainting is common, and treatment is unnecessary in most cases. However, sometimes fainting can indicate an underlying disease for which you’ll need treatment.
  • 30% of the population experience at least one episode
  • Mostly occurs in young women

Causes of Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

Fainting may be the result of one or more of these causes:

  • Emotional distress, including panic attacks, anxiety attacks or fear
  • Standing in a hot, crowded area
  • Having a bowel movement (especially if straining)
  • Coughing strenuously
  • Unpleasant situations, such as the sight of blood
  • Urinating
  • Standing in one place too long
  • Breathing too fast (hyperventilation)
  • Severe dehydration
  • Severe pain
  • Heat exposure

Other Causes

  • Brain tumors or bleeding into the brain, severe blood loss, and heart problems

Do’s and Don’ts of Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

  • When you feel like you’re going to faint, find a safe place to lie down and if possible, lift your legs up.
  • If you can’t lie down, sit down and put your head between your knees.
  • Don’t stand up until you no longer feel like you’re going to faint.

Signs & Symptoms of Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

Before a faint due to vasovagal syncope, you may have warning signs and symptoms, such as:

  • A pale appearance to your skin
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Yawning
  • Sweating
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Blurred vision
  • Field of vision “blacking out” or “whiting out”
  • Difficulty hearing or ringing in your ears

Medical advice for Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

Visit your doctor if you experience fainting and you:

  • Have fainted more than once in a single month
  • Have heart-related problems, diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Are older than age 50
  • Had no warning signs leading up to the faint
  • Faint when you turn your head
  • Are taking a new medication
  • Experience chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or blurred vision before or after fainting
  • Are pregnant
  • Injured yourself from a fall as a result of fainting
  • Take longer than a few seconds to regain consciousness
  • If you have slurred speech or difficulty moving an arm or leg after fainting get immediate medical help. These signs may indicate a stroke.

Risk factors of Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

  • Certain heart conditions, such as blood flow obstructions and arrhythmias
  • Illnesses that affect your autonomic nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Anxiety or panic disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use or drug use, or both
  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications, such as some high blood pressure medicines that cause your blood pressure to drop
  • Low blood sugar

Treatment for Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

  • If fainting is caused by heart or neurological problems, treatment will depend on the underlying cause

Self-care for Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

  • If you have fainted, remain to lie down or sitting with your head between your knees until you feel better.
  • When you’re lying down, blood flow to your brain increases — because it’s not fighting gravity — and you quickly regain consciousness. However, you may still feel “washed out” or tired for a few minutes or even a few hours

Investigations for Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)

  • Chest X-ray, ECG, Echocardiogram
Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)
Fainting (Vasovagal Syncope)