Overview

Syncope is a condition that can occur when the blood flow to the brain is restricted, resulting in a temporary loss of consciousness — also known as fainting. This condition accounts for 1 to 3.5% of hospital visits in the U.S.

There are several types of syncope that result in gradual to sudden fainting episodes. Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms, treatments and neurological causes of syncope.

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Types of Syncope and Their Causes

Each type of fainting has a specific cause. While some forms can be medically diagnosed, there are also instances of situational syncope symptoms. The two categories of this condition include:

Reflex Syncope

Reflex syncope is the most common variety of fainting. In these instances, a reflex response slows down the heart rate and cuts blood flow off from reaching the brain.

The three primary forms of reflex syncope include:

  • Carotid sinus: Fainting can occur when pressure is put on the carotid artery in the neck, restricting blood flow. Certain neck motions or wearing a shirt with a tight collar can cause this.
  • Situational: An extensive range of situations can affect the nervous system and cause you to faint. These events include getting blood drawn, having intense anxiety or being severely dehydrated.
  • Vasovagal: This form of syncope is triggered by a sudden drop in blood pressure. This type accounts for over half of fainting episodes and can be due to standing up too fast, standing for too long or undergoing intense pain. In rare cases, patients may experience fainting while lying down or sitting in a chair. There are even instances of sleep syncope.

Cardiac and Cerebrovascular Syncope

There are also cardiac and cerebrovascular syncope conditions. The cardiac variety is due to a complication in the heart, such as structural or electrical problems that affect blood circulation in the body. Cerebrovascular syncope occurs because certain blood vessels around the brain become restricted due to strokes, aneurysms or other diseases.

Both causes can trigger a convulsive syncope episode — a seizure-like reaction from decreased blood flow.

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Symptoms of Syncope

If you begin to feel any of the following symptoms, you may be nearing a fainting episode:

  • Feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weakness or unsteadiness
  • Cold and clammy skin while feeling warm
  • Headache with changes in vision — blurriness, tunnel vision, seeing spots
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears

Treatment for Syncope

Treatment for Syncope

Treatment for Syncope

Several exams, like lab tests or an electrocardiogram, can discover any underlying reasons that may have influenced your fainting episode. Anemia, atrial fibrillation or diabetes are among the top culprits for underlying diseases that cause syncope.

If a cause is discovered, you will be treated accordingly with various syncope medicines or other solutions. If there are no definite results, monitor your activities surrounding another fainting spell and report the results to your doctor.

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Other common neurological conditions.

Find a Syncope Doctor Near You Today

At Advanced Medical Care, we are passionate about finding solutions for our patients. We will try our best to find the cause of your syncope to prevent it from reoccurring. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a syncope specialist at our locations in Queens or Brooklyn.

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