Fainting

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fainting, blacking out, or syncope is the temporary loss of consciousness followed by the return to full wakefulness. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at fainting in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Fainting, also called syncope, is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness caused by decreased blood flow to the brain.

Many conditions can cause fainting. These include heart problems such as an irregular heartbeat, seizures, panic or anxiety attacks, low blood sugar, anemia and problems with the nervous system regulation of blood pressure.

Fainting is a common problem for the elderly, who may suffer serious injuries from falls.

Most fainting episodes are very brief. In most cases, the individual who has fainted regains complete consciousness within just a few minutes.

If you suffer from episodes of fainting, the type of treatment your doctor offers will depend on the cause of your fainting spells and how often you experience them. Infrequent non-heart related fainting may not need to be treated.

You may be given certain medications to manage the underlying problem, or if you have an arrhythmia you may require medications or a cardiac pacemaker. Report any fainting spells to your physician.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.