Do not allow a fainting episode to be chalked up to ‘not much’. Many reasons could cause fainting.
Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) is one of the most common causes of fainting. Vasovagal syncope occurs when your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress.
The vasovagal syncope trigger causes a sudden drop in your heart rate and blood pressure. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, which results in a brief loss of consciousness.
Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment. But it’s possible you may injure yourself during a vasovagal syncope episode. Also, your doctor may recommend tests to rule out more-serious causes of fainting, such as heart disorders.
Fainting, also called syncope, is a sudden loss of consciousness. It often occurs when the blood pressure drops and not enough oxygen reaches the brain. There are times when fainting may look like a seizure. Whether you faint once or repeatedly, if it is without any explanation you should talk to your doctor. If you faint during exercise or experience dizziness, heart palpitations, or seizure-like episodes, these are also good reasons to see a doctor.
While some causes of unexplained fainting are harmless, others may be serious. Heart-related causes, including abnormal heart rhythms, are among the most serious causes of fainting. Also, if you do not have any warning signs before you faint, you may fall unexpectedly and be injured.
Electrocardiogram (ECG): This simple test records the electrical activity of the heart. Patches with wires attached are placed on a person’s chest, arms, and legs. The wires are connected to a monitor that can record abnormal findings with the heart’s electrical impulses. The test usually takes just a few minutes.
Echocardiography: A wand-like device called a transducer is placed on the chest. Sound waves are bounced off the heart and produce a video image of the heart in motion. This provides a moving picture of the heart structure and its pumping ability.
Holter Monitors: This test uses patches placed on the chest with wires that are connected to a portable monitor. It records the heart’s electrical activity continuously for 1 to 2 days during normal daily activities. When a person experiences a symptom, he or she can push a button and the device will record the heart’s rhythm at that time.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): Patches with thin wires attached are placed on the scalp in a painless procedure to measure the electrical activity of the brain. The test checks for irregularities in the brain wave activity that might contribute to seizures.
Event Monitors/Records: A portable device, this recorder is worn continuously on the wrist or waist from several days up to 1 month. When a person experiences a symptom, he or she can push a button and the device will record the heart’s electrical activity at that time.
Stress Testing: When a person exercises, the heart has to beat harder and faster to provide enough oxygen throughout the body. Some heart conditions are easier to diagnose during exercise. For a stress test, a person walks or runs on a treadmill while the heart activity is monitored for abnormal heart rhythms
Tilt Table: This procedure recreates the conditions that may cause fainting. As you lie on a table, it tilts by varying degrees while a machine measures your blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm to see how they react to changes in your body position. This test generally takes 2 hours.
If you’re fainted then take it seriously. Listed are tests that can be done. But its a good idea to write down what you were thinking. What you were feeling. How long you experienced an odd feeling before you fainted. Had you eaten? Have you had something to drink. Be 100% honest.
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