Fear of Fainting
In medical terms, a fainting spell is a sudden and brief loss of consciousness. It takes place when the brain doesnt get enough blood flow and oxygen. It even has an unusual medical name: SYNCOPE (pronounced sin-koh-pay). In its most common form, the nerves that control the function of the heart and blood vessels do not work properly. This may cause the heartbeat to slow down and blood pressure to drop. In turn, the result may be loss of consciousness.
People who have fainting spells but are otherwise in good health usually have a good outlook. But people whose spells are caused by underlying heart disease generally have a serious condition. Its important to understand that Syncope can be treated. A doctor can explain treatment options and the best way to manage the overall condition. Proper care can help almost all people with this condition to lead active, normal lives. Nevertheless, it is also important to learn key facts about the symptoms, types and causes of Syncope.
Warning symptoms: People who have Syncope often experience symptoms before they faint, a warning of an oncoming spell. Such symptoms may include nausea, lightheadedness, pale appearance, feeling warm, sweating, weakness, dimmed vision, even difficulty hearing. Some of these harbingers are often indicators of other ills, e.g. cardiac or stroke. A typical fainting spell is brief, most often lasting under 20 seconds. Only rarely does an episode last as long as several minutes.
After such a spell, an individual may feel tired for several hours. There are two major types of Syncope: defined in clinical terms as REFLEX Syncope and POSTURAL Syncope. In the Reflex case there are several subsets, brought on by an underlying process, a faulty reflex. When the reflex is triggered, it causes blood vessels to dilate and/or the heart rate to slow down. The most common and best-known Reflex type is called ''common faint.''
The frequent triggers are severe pain, fear, emotional distress, even standing still for a long time. Healthy people, as well as those with health issues, can experience fainting spells. When fainting is triggered by specific situations or events, its called ''situational.'' These can include coughing or sneezing, uriinating, defecating or undergoing a rectal exam, swallowing, diving or lifting weights.
Tthere is a Reflex cause callled ''carotid sinus'' from pressure on an area inside the important artery in the neck. This trigger may take place by turning or swinging the head to one side, or wearing clothes that are too tight around the neck. The other major type, Postural Syncope, can take place when a person stands up quickly from a sitting or lying position. The normal reflex that causes blood vessels to dilate does not work properly. As a result, blood pressure drops and fainting occurs.
It often is found in people who are frail or older, those who may have underlying medical problems such as diabetes, as well as people who suffer from dehydration. Certain drugs that enhance urine flow, reduce blood pressure or dilate blood vessels can also set off postural Syncope. No report on fainting spells can fail to note conditions that mimic Syncope. Among them are: epilepsy seizures, intoxication, hypoglycemia - low blood sugar, stroke, hyperventilation, accidental falls, anxiety attacks, psychiatric disorders. Equally important is understanding how to prevent fainting spells from recurring. A set of common-sense precautions. - Try to avoid or at least minimize painful personal events or emotions; and avoid hot, crowded spaces..
Sit down to urinate. Wait a short time after a bowel movement before standing up. Use stool softeners to prevent straining. Avoid clothes that are too tight around the neck. Get up slowly after lying down. Sit for a moment before standing. Avoid standing for long periods. Be careful when taking a hot bath. Drink water often, especially when exercising and during hot weather. Wear any special prescribed stockings to keep blood from pooling in legs. Learn to be alert to warning symptoms as described earlier. . Do not ignore the symptoms. Stop activities and sit or lie down quickly to prevent injury. Summing up: Most cases of Syncope can be treated. A physician can explain the treatment options and help a patient decide the best way to manage the problem. With proper diagnosis and care, most people can continue to lead normal, active lives.
Day Sailor gives you all the facts on fainting at http://www.faintingfacts.com