Syncope: When Is Fainting A Cause For Concern?

syncope fainting hypotension

Syncope refers to a temporary loss of consciousness often due to hypotension or very low blood pressure and insufficient blood flow to the brain. While syncope can be benign, it can also be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. 

Common Causes Of Syncope 

Syncope can be due to benign or life-threatening conditions. Non-life-threatening factors include dehydration, overheating, exhaustion, heavy sweating, or blood pooling in the legs. You must know what’s causing you syncope and determine any underlying condition by seeing a doctor. But, syncope can also be caused by serious heart conditions like bradycardia, blood flow obstruction, or tachycardia. 

Neurally Mediated Syncope (NMS) 

This common form of fainting can cause you to visit the ER frequently. It is benign and may not require medical treatment. It is common in children and young adults but can happen at any age. This occurs when the blood pressure and heart rate regulator in the nervous system malfunctions due to triggers like emotional stress or pain. It can occur while standing and is followed by nausea, tunnel vision, or lightheadedness. 

Cardiac Syncope 

This type of syncope can be due to different heart conditions like hypotension, bradycardia, and tachycardia. It can cause sudden cardiac arrest. Those who have this condition but do not have severe medical conditions can manage it without staying at a hospital. If serious medical conditions are experienced, a patient should get further inpatient evaluation. These conditions include serious aortic stenosis, cardiac ischemia, and pulmonary embolism. In older adults, cardiac syncope can recur because of conditions such as heart failure and atrial fibrillation. 

Who Is At Risk Of Cardiac Syncope? 

Adults who are more than 80 years old and have syncope are at a greater risk of hospitalization and fatality. Cardiac syncope can be suffered by those older than age 60, people with heart disease, men, and those who have a family history of inheritable conditions. 

3 Types Of Treatment For Syncope 

Treatment for syncope depends on the underlying condition. It may include the following: 

1. Catheter Ablation 

This procedure is performed to cauterize heart cells that cause irregular breathing or abnormal heart rhythms. 

2. Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (ICD) 

These devices deliver an electric pulse to the heart, so an irregular heartbeat can be reset. They are usually used for treating heart failure or ventricular tachycardia. 

3. Pacemakers 

These devices deliver regular electrical pulses to the heart. They are usually used for treating bradycardia, heart failure, and heart block

Stop Syncope 

Syncope is a major cause for concern. If you are experiencing fainting, talk to your doctor immediately.

New Frugal Finance Blog Posts & Articles