In the medical landscape, fainting is called ‘Syncope’. It is a sudden loss of consciousness for a brief moment. It is triggered because of decreased flow of blood to the brain. Fainting can be caused because of multiple conditions or can be genetic. However, it can even occur in healthy people. Consciousness is completely regained within a few minutes. The people who are at risk of syncope are senior citizens.
If you experience nausea, dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness then never ignore it. Get examined by the certified neurologists at South Valley Neurology in Morgan Hill. You can notice vision changes or don’t experience symptoms before fainting.
Common cause of fainting or syncope
Fainting can be because of environmental triggers or underlying medical conditions. It can even be due to encountering an emotionally stressful situation. Blood volume change, intense pain, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and a decrease in heart rate can even cause syncope.
- Abrupt changes in your posture like standing too quickly
- Extreme fear or pain
- Extreme stress
- Irregular heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
The following can even cause fainting –
Autonomic nervous system diseases
The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary functions like heartbeat, blood vessel contraction, and breathing. The system can suffer from disorders like chronic pre or post-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency and acute dysautonomia. These disorders cause loss of bowel & bladder control, erectile dysfunction, decreased sweating & salvation, as well as loss of normal pupil reflexes.
Medical conditions hindering nervous system functioning
The working of the nervous system parts responsible for heart rate and blood pressure regulations are hindered due to medical conditions. It includes malnutrition, alcoholism, diabetes, and amyloidosis. High blood pressure medications work on blood vessels and your risk of fainting increases. Dehydration can affect blood amount, which impacts blood pressure causing you to faint.
Blood vessel or heart diseases
This can hinder blood circulation to your brain. Heart problems include sinus node problems, heart block, heart arrhythmia, blood clots in the lungs, narrowing of a heart valve, etc.
Unusual pattern of stimulating specific nerves
Fainting is caused after or during urination, due to pain and inflammation in a specific mouth nerve, after intense coughing, and stretching of arms & neck.
During panic attacks, you may breathe fast and can faint from hyperventilation.
What to do when you faint?
When you feel that you are about to faint lower your body to the ground. Elevate your legs higher than the head. It will help the blood to flow towards the brain and prevent a fainting episode. Even if you faint after sitting down, it will help to avert injuries from falling like hitting the head.
What to do when you see someone may faint?
Help the person sit down. Loosen their garments like a tie or neck scarf because it may hinder their breathing. In case the person faints and does not regain consciousness in a couple of minutes call 911. As you are waiting for the emergency medical services roll the fainted person gently onto their side. Ensure they are breathing and stay there until help arrives.