By Dr. Robert Harizi
Reliant Medical Group Cardiology
It can happen to anyone. All of a sudden you feel a little dizzy and light-headed, and then, (thump!) you wake up on the floor wondering, what happened?
Fainting can happen for a lot of reasons and is actually pretty common. Many people young and old suffer from fainting spells. Fainting (or what doctors call “syncope”) is defined as a sudden loss of consciousness and muscle control caused by low blood flow to the brain. When your heart rate or blood pressure drops suddenly, fainting can occur. This can happen when the body reacts to certain triggers, including:
- Emotional trauma
- The sight of blood
- Fear of bodily injury
- Prolonged standing
Before fainting, people usually experience warning signs such as feeling lightheaded, headache, nausea, dizziness, feeling warm or hot, looking pale, sweating and even vision and auditory changes. Some people get the sensation that noises are fading away before they faint. And just like in the movies, people can faint suddenly if they receiving shocking news.
In most cases, fainting shouldn’t be a cause for concern. However, it can be a symptom of a serious medical condition in some instances. People who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, anxiety or panic attacks, atherosclerosis, an irregular heartbeat, and chronic lung diseases are more likely to suffer from fainting. So if you suddenly start experiencing fainting spells and you have no history of fainting, you should see your doctor. You should be especially concerned if you faint while exercising as it can be a sign of a heart disorder.
If you do experience a fainting episode, remember not to stand up until you feel better. You can encourage more blood to flow to your head by raising your feet above the level of your heart. (You also sit with your head between your legs.) A cool drink of water can also be beneficial. It’s a good idea to try to remember what caused you to faint, and to talk to a doctor if you believe you have an underlying medical problem.
About Robert Harizi, MD, Chief of Cardiology
During his time as a cardiologist, Dr. Robert Harizi has learned that each patient is truly unique and often needs individualized therapy. “After making a diagnosis, I try to tailor the treatment which has the highest likelihood of success to that person. Before you begin any treatment plan, you have to take into consideration a patient’s lifestyle, what their job is, what their attitudes are – a comprehensive approach. It’s very...View profile View posts by this doctor