I Just Fainted, Should I See a Doctor?

Aug 10, 2017 / Cardiology

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
  • Stress
  • The sight of blood
  • Fear of bodily injury
  • Dehydration
  • 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.

I Just Fainted, Should I See a Doctor?

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...

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9 Responses

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  1. Posted by Theodore

    I am a young adult who has had…what I assume are blackouts this feeling happens when I usually am in a hot area and stand up to stretch I.e sitting in the shower and standing and suddenly my vision turns black and I “wake up” to find myself leaning over with my arms dangling. During this time I fell a weird…pulse sensation in my legs and arms and that’s about it. It happens like once every couple of weeks. Should I seek help for this?

    October 28, 2020 9:06 am Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Theodore. You should consult your primary care provider about this.

      October 28, 2020 9:48 am Reply
  2. Posted by Hailee

    I have been having dizzy spells to the the point were I can’t stand up for over 2 and half years, but over the last six months I have found myself passing out, have really sore heart palpitations, headaches and my feet, lower legs and hands go blue. It’s probably not all connected but should I go to my doctor?

    February 9, 2020 6:06 am Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Hailee. You should definitely talk to your doctor about this.

      February 10, 2020 9:10 am Reply
  3. Posted by Arushi

    In the past 11 months, I collapsed three times in three different situations. I have no history of fainting or any other medical condition. I could sense that I was about to collapse. I had blurred vision, fading noises and everything went black for a minute. I ended up sweating a lot with the loss of breath. Whom should I consult? Is this something very serious?

    January 18, 2020 6:10 am Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      This is a question to bring up to your primary care physician.

      January 20, 2020 9:40 am Reply
  4. Posted by Helen Chandler

    My grandson is 16 has never fainted recently he did twice in one day hasn’t since.what could be the reason and should we see a doctor and what kind

    October 8, 2018 10:56 am Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Helen. There could be many causes… the only way to diagnose is to bring him in to be seen.

      October 8, 2018 10:58 am Reply
  5. Posted by Kathleen Dalgliesh

    I kept fainting every time I vomited resulting in concussions, chipped teeth, broken nose and deep lacerations. I even would faint when lying down if I threw up. After years of telling me there was nothing they could do, I finally got tested (tilt table test) and during the test my heart stopped completely (asystole) for over one minute requiring chest compressions to get it going again. A pacemaker has totally prevented any more fainting, so please be careful and don’t let repeated fainting episodes keep you from seeing a cardiologist. I would have died if I had let it continue.

    August 24, 2017 2:08 pm Reply

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