What is Syncope (fainting)?
Syncope or loss of consciousness, fainting, or passing out occurs due to the insufficient blood flow in the brain. The inadequacy of blood in the brain is either caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart, as well as the changes in blood volume in other parts of the body.
In some people, fainting can happen rarely and is usually not caused by anything serious. However, there are instances where fainting is a symptom of an underlying health condition like a heart attack.
What causes fainting spells? Read on to learn more.
What are the Symptoms of Syncope?
Before we dive into what causes fainting spells, let us see what are the symptoms you might feel before fainting:
- Blurry vision
- Face and body turns pale
- Cold sweats
- Loss of balance or unsteadiness
- Blacking out
- Drop attacks or a sudden fall on the ground while walking or standing up
You can prevent fainting by dealing with the symptoms immediately. If you feel like passing out, you can sit or lie flat on the ground with your feet slightly elevated so blood can circulate properly in your brain.
Usually, when you pass out, you can regain your consciousness within a few seconds or minutes. But just to make sure that you are okay, it is still advisable to see a doctor right away.
What Causes Fainting Spells?
There are different factors for what causes fainting spells depending on the type of syncope.
Vasovagal syncope, or reflex syncope, is one of the most common causes of fainting spells. What causes fainting spells? This type of syncope causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate. The triggers that may cause vasovagal syncope include:
- Overheating or being exposed to a lot of heat for a long time
- Extreme emotional distress like being enraged or being horrified
- Hemophobia (fear of the sight of blood) and trypanophobia (fear of needles, injections, and other medical procedures)
- Overexertion after exercise or any strenuous physical activities
- Dehydration and skipping meals
- Micturition syncope (fainting after urination)
- Intense pain
- Swallow syncope (fainting due to swallowing)
- Defecation syncope (straining too much while having a bowel movement)
- Cough syncope (fainting due to a series of vigorous coughing)
- Carotid sinus hypersensitivity or CSH (fainting as a result of too much pressure applied on the carotid artery in the neck)
Sympathetic Nervous System Failure
This is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, or the system which governs blood pressure and heart rate. Among what causes fainting spells are the following: