Fainting (Syncope)

What is fainting?

Fainting or syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness. If you’re about to faint, you’ll feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous. Your field of vision may “white-out” or “blackout.” Your skin may be cold and clammy. You lose muscle control at the same time and may fall down.

When someone faints, make sure that the airway is clear and check for breathing. The person should stay lying down for 10-15 minutes. Most people recover completely. Fainting is usually nothing to worry about, but it can sometimes be a sign of a serious problem. If you faint, it’s important to see your health care provider and find out why it happened.

How bad is my fainting?

Mild: It includes losing consciousness, lightheadedness, and dizziness: medical intervention is not needed.

Moderate: It includes weakness, nausea

Severe: Fainting; orthostatic collapse

How to manage mild fainting?
  • Lie down to avoid injury due to falling. Don’t stand up until you feel better.
  • You can also sit and bend forward with your head between
  • Get up slowly from a sitting or lying-down position.
  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Feeling lightheaded, weak, and having the sensation of spinning are warning signs of fainting. If you notice any of these signs, sit and put your head between your knees to help get blood to your brain.
How to manage moderate and severe fainting?

See your doctor if you faint and also have any of these symptoms or conditions:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden onset (no warning signs)
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Trouble talking
  • Taking longer than a few seconds to regain consciousness
  • Fainting when you turn your head to the side
  • Fainting more than once in a month
What causes fainting?

Some causes of fainting include

  • Heat or dehydration
  • Certain cancers (lung cancer) and cancer treatments
  • Emotional distress
  • Standing up too quickly
  • Certain medicines
  • Drop in blood sugar
  • Heart problems

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