Fainting spells can happen for several reasons. This condition can occur as an isolated case. Other times, it is the result of an underlying health condition.
While not a serious medical concern, fainting may be considered a cause for worry if it becomes a frequent occurrence due to an ulterior illness. There are also cases when it is necessary to bring a person that has fainted to the hospital via private ambulance service.
Read on to find out more about fainting spells, and the proper first-aid treatment that you should do in the event of it.
What is Fainting?
Fainting, known medically as syncope, refers to the sudden and brief loss of consciousness that happens due to the brain’s lack of oxygen access. Fainting spells may go for a few seconds to a few minutes.
Fainting is more often referred to as “passing out.”
What causes fainting?
Fainting can occur as a result of different triggers. These could include:
- Fear, anxiety, and other forms of emotional stress
- Intense pain
- A sudden drop in blood pressure as a result of shock
- Prolonged standing
- Shifting from a sitting position to a standing position too quickly
- Participating in strenuous activities in hot temperatures
- Drug intake and excessive alcohol consumption
- Heart problems, anemia, low blood pressure, and other medical conditions
Symptoms of Fainting
A person who is about to faint may feel dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseous. Other people can hear the sounds fading away, and illustrate the experience as “blacking out.”
Other symptoms may include:
- Paleness of the face
- Restlessness and anxiety
Risk Factors for Fainting
Fainting can happen either as an isolated event or the result of another condition or circumstance. Your chances of fainting are higher if you have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Atherosclerosis or arterial plaque
- Arrhythmia or the condition of irregular heartbeat
- Panic attacks
- Chronic lung diseases, like emphysema
Furthermore, circumstances such as taking medications for certain illnesses may also make you prone to fainting. These medications may cause your blood pressure levels to go down, triggering a fainting spell. These medications are often used to treat the following conditions:
- High blood pressure
Treatment for Fainting
When someone faints, it is important to know what you can do to improve their blood circulation so that oxygen can easily reach their brain.
First-Aid Treatment for Fainting
Here is what you can do as a first-aid response to someone who has fainted.
If the person regains consciousness:
- Encourage them to sit with their head placed between their knees. This position helps in stimulating blood flow to the head.
- Loosen any tight clothing, which may include collars, belts, and buttons.
- Make sure that the person is either lying down or sitting for a good 15 minutes in a location that is cool, quiet, and comfortable.
- Have them drink a cool glass of water as this can also help.
A fainting situation can be an emergency in the following circumstances:
- If the person isn’t breathing
- If the person does not regain consciousness after a few minutes
- If the person falls badly and gets bleeding injuries
- If the person is pregnant
- If the person has no known history of fainting
- If the person is over 50
- If the person has been experiencing chest pains or has a history of heart diseases
- If the person starts having convulsions
- If the person experiences speech or vision problems
- If the person remains in a confused state for longer than expected
- If the person is unable to move their limbs and extremities
In the event of any of these circumstances, call emergency services immediately. It may be required to perform CPR as you await help.
Prevention for Fainting
There is no single known cause as to why fainting occurs. However, understanding what triggers fainting spells is crucial in its prevention especially if you have a history of fainting.
In retrospect, here are some extra precautions you can take to prevent the likelihood of fainting.
- Always keep in mind to get up slowly from a sitting or lying-down position. This allows your blood vessels to adjust.
- Stay hydrated. Maintain your hydration levels during the day. Drink plenty of liquids, especially when before, during, and after participating in exercise or any physical activity, and in hot weather.
- Try to avoid skipping meals.