Fainting Spell Causes
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: June 14, 2021
If you have ever watched someone faint it can be alarming. They look a little pale, slightly off, and often their eyes will roll back in their heads just before going limp.
While fainting has been portrayed in movies as a sign of stress or someone who is over dramatic, the truth is that it can be a signal that something is medically wrong. Fainting spells are referred to as “syncope,” and the blackout period can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
During this time a person loses consciousness after a brief feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness. When a spell occurs, it is due to your brain is not receiving enough oxygen or blood flow. There are dozens of reasons as to why this might happen.
The severity of a fainting spell can vary. Most most will regain consciousness within a few short minutes. The majority of fainting spells do not require medical attention and are the result of situational trauma such as extreme fear or emotional disturbances, or even severe quick onset pain.
Passing out can even be triggered by something as simple as standing up too fast, coughing too hard, standing in one position for an extended period of time, or straining excessively during a bowel movement. Some medications can even bring on a fainting spell, especially those that result in a sudden blood pressure drop.
Fainting spells can be classified into three categories
- Vasovagal – This type of fainting occurs when a person is afraid or experiences emotional trauma or stress.
- Situational – This type of fainting occurs from physical strain, such as coughing or extreme pain.
- Carotid Sinus – This type of fainting occurs when the carotid artery in the neck is constricted in some way.
While most causes of a fainting spell are no cause for alarm, there are a few, however, that should definitely raise some red flags and lead you to seek medical attention, whether immediate or otherwise. This is because in some cases, fainting can be the sign of a serious underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, and may be an indication that there are blockages in your heart or that you have an irregular heartbeat, also referred to as a heart arrhythmia. If you have fainted more than once within a one-month period, or if you have a history of frequent fainting spells, then a trip to your physician is definitely recommended, at the very least to rule out anything serious.
If fainting is found to be related to a heart arrhythmia, then a serious underlying condition may be present. While most arrhythmias are harmless, there are some that can predispose a person to some very serious complications, such as stroke or heart failure. Fortunately, most arrhythmias can be effectively treated, and there are a number of tests available to help with a proper diagnosis. While fainting spells are one of the more obvious signs that an arrhythmia may be present, patients should also take special note if they are experiencing heart palpitations as well, though many patients will experience no symptoms at all. A proper diagnosis is always the first step in addressing any possible arrhythmia. It is a good idea to get checked out after a fainting episode, especially if you hit your head or banged another body part to make sure no damage was done.
If you have been experiencing fainting spells that you think may be heart health related, and you would like to get to the root of your problem so that you may address it properly, contact the physicians at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates by calling (813) 975-2800. www.tampacardio.com.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio