Overview

Fainting is a short-term loss of consciousness that can be caused by a wide range of medical conditions, extremely stressful events, over-exhaustion, dehydration, severe sharp pain, or even fear. More than a third of people have experienced swooning in their lives. Let’s explore some key facts that you must be aware of to prevent the next passing out, determine key triggers, and get a smart plan for handling and managing the underlying problem.

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Dealing with frequent syncope episodes.

For fainting, convulsive seizures are uncommon since more likely such symptoms signal epileptic episodes. A lack of oxygen to the brain is one of the reasons of fainting, however, respiratory failure is also excluded. Therefore, after taking a horizontal position, in which the heart restores its adequate ability to pump blood to the brain, the latter is saturated with oxygen, and the consciousness soon returns to the person. Sudden loss of consciousness can occur during a long stay in a room with poor ventilation, prolonged motionless standing, standing up too fast, with a sharp turn of the neck, during physical activities in high temperatures. Thus, as most of the cases of this condition are associated with various external or internal factors and are not a sign of serious illness, then fainting itself is not a big danger.

But if fainting is often repeated, then you should pay special attention to this and contact a qualified specialist to determine what are the causes and get syncope treatment based on the diagnosis. Therefore, a doctor will perform some tests, such as ECG, to check if swooning is the result of heart disorders, anemia, low blood sugar in diabetes, epilepsy, vascular dystonia, transient ischemic attacks, stroke, increased intracranial pressure, serious allergic reaction.

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What else is crucial to know?

Here are some warning signs before fainting:

  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea and a feeling of sickness
  • Dizziness and the sensation of spinning around
  • Changes in the skin color
  • Darkening in the eyes, weakness
  • Tinnitus
  • Numbness of the arms and legs
  • Slowing of the pulse
  • Decreased pressure
  • Blanching of the skin
  • Shallow breathing

Duration and body reaction. The duration of fainting may be several seconds, but no more than 2-3 minutes. After fainting, some mental confusion is observed in most cases, but this is a short-term phenomenon. Fainting is not accompanied by cessation of breathing or heartbeat. However, feeling ill, washed out, tired, exhausted and experiencing a lack of energy are very common. Recovery after each episode may take a couple of minutes.

Diagnostic methods. The initial examination of the patient is usually performed by a neurologist. In the future, you may need to consult a cardiologist, endocrinologist, surgeon, psychiatrist, and other specialists. Of the examination methods, a general blood and urine test, a biochemical blood test, ECG, EEG, ultrasound Doppler examination of the vessels of the head and neck, MRI, X-ray of the spine help in diagnosing fainting causes.

Management of syncope.

Management of syncope.

Management of syncope.

Depending on the mechanism of fainting, the treatment for syncope will be developed to help you to fight symptoms and the disease that contributes to fainting. Only with appropriate medical care for patients, it will be possible to avert recurrences and reduce the harmful impact of the loss of consciousness on your quality of life, diminishing the probability of falls and traumas.

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Other common neurological conditions.

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