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
- Standing in one place too long
- Breathing too fast (hyperventilation)
- Severe dehydration
- Severe pain
- Heat exposure
- 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
- 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
- Alcohol use or drug use, or both
- 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