Fainting Prevention, Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment


An instantaneous loss of consciousness is referred to as fainting, passing out, or syncope. A rapid reduction in blood supply to the brain is what causes it. Typically, an episode lasts a few seconds or minutes. The majority of fainting episodes are not dangerous. You ought to consult a doctor if you frequently experience fainting or exhibit other symptoms.

You faint when you briefly lose consciousness. An abrupt decrease in blood supply to the brain is what causes it. Typically, a fainting episode lasts a few seconds or minutes before the person wakes up and resumes normal functioning.

Another name for fainting is:

  • A lower level of consciousness
  • Consciousness loss
  • Falling asleep
  • Syncope.

The many forms of syncope. These three typical kinds are:

Vagal syncope. Vasovagal syncope is caused by the vagus nerve. Psychological trauma, stress, the sight of blood, or extended standing may cause it.

Syncope with a carotid sinus. This kind of fainting occurs when the carotid artery in the neck becomes constricted, generally as a result of moving your head to one side or donning an uncomfortable collar.

Contextual syncope. This kind is brought on by straining while coughing, peeing, moving your intestines, or experiencing digestive issues.


Though it is uncommon, fainting might indicate a significant health issue.

An abrupt drop in blood pressure, which limits blood flow and oxygen to the brain, is the most frequent cause of fainting. There are several factors that might cause a transient loss of consciousness in the event that blood pressure falls:

Cardiac syncope is fainting as a result of a cardiac condition. The amount of blood pumped to the brain with oxygen can be impacted by a variety of cardiac problems.

Carotid sinus syncope can occur when the carotid artery in the neck becomes narrowed (pinched). The brain receives blood supply from the carotid artery. When a person wears a really tight collar, they might experience this form of fainting. In this, there is excessive neck twisting or stretching, or a neck bone that is pressing against an artery.

Situational syncope: Some biological actions or processes might naturally lower blood pressure, which could result in fainting spells. Examples include the act of urinating, passing waste, coughing, or stretching.

Vasovagal syncope can happen when someone goes through a stressful situation. Examples include seeing blood, experiencing stress or emotional distress, or experiencing pain. The stressful situation triggers the vasovagal response, a physiological reflex. Blood pressure decreases as a result of the heart pumping less blood more slowly. The person faints as a result of not getting enough oxygenated blood to the brain.

Other potential reasons for fainting include:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Calcium channel blockers, and others (often used for high blood pressure).
  • Nitrates for heart disease, antipsychotics for mental health issues, antihistamines for allergies, and opioids for pain are some further examples.
  • Overheating or dehydration.
  • Although rare, a neurologic ailment could include a seizure problem.
  • A sudden dip in blood sugar can occur in a diabetic patient.

The following actions might make you faint:

  • Eating too few meals.
  • Hyperventilating (breathing too quickly) (breathing too fast).
  • Overexertion when working, playing, or exercising, especially in the heat.
  • Getting up too soon.
  • Consuming alcohol, marijuana, or illicit substances.

How to check if you are at risk of Fainting?

You probably do not need to see a healthcare professional if you faint once and are otherwise healthy. However, you might need medical assistance in the event that you:

  • Are hurt as a result of a fainting fall.
  • Recurrently and frequently pass out.
  • It takes more than a couple of minutes to come to.

If you fall unconscious and experience any of the following symptoms, consult a doctor right away:

  • Fuzzy vision
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion or difficulty speaking.
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Loss of control when urinating or defecating.
  • Respiration difficulty.

Additionally, notify a medical professional of any loss of consciousness if you:

  • Are expecting.
  • Possess diabetes.
  • Possess a heart or blood pressure issue.


Before passing out, you could experience:

  • Frozen and clammy
  • Dizzy.
  • Lightheaded.
  • Suddenly sweaty and warm.
  • Nauseous.
  • Worried or stressed.
  • Weak.

Additionally, you can:

  • Fall down.
  • Acquire a headache.
  • Experiencing alterations in eyesight (such as "whiteout," "blackout," or "stars").
  • A ringing sensation in your ears
  • Your muscles will start to tremble.


Pay attention to the particular events or activities that cause fainting. You may take precautions to prevent fainting spells once you understand what triggers them. For instance, if rising up too quickly occasionally causes you to faint, practice taking your time.

You can use the following methods to avoid fainting if you recognise how you feel right before one occurs:

  • Form a fist.
  • Arms: Contract them.
  • Legs crossed.
  • Put your thighs in a tight fist.


In the event of unconsciousness:

  • Ensure that the person's airway is unobstructed.
  • Make sure the subject is breathing.
  • Verify the heart's rhythm.
  • If you require emergency medical help, contact the local hospital.

After passing out, a person may:

  • Encourage them to rest for 10 to 15 minutes by sitting or lying down (sometimes longer, until symptoms pass).
  • Examine your body for any wounds that may require medical treatment (such as a head injury or a cut).
  • Encourage them to lean forward and keep their head between their legs and shoulders.
  • Present ice or chilly water.

You can help someone who is fainting close to you by lifting their feet above the level of their heart.

They might be instructed to sit so that their heads are resting between their knees.

Belts, belt buckles, and other constrictive apparel should be loosened. Keep the person lying down or sitting for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The best area is a nice, peaceful setting.

Water that has been chilled may be beneficial. 

Complications of Fainting

If someone has collapsed, you should contact your local emergency services right away if they have any signs of the following:

  • Has fallen and suffered an injury or is bleeding
  • Is pregnant
  • Has diabetes
  • Has no history of fainting
  • Is over 50
  • Has an irregular heartbeat
  • Has reported experiencing pressure or discomfort in the chest, or has a history of heart disease
  • Is not breathing
  • Does not regain consciousness within a few minutes
  • Has convulsions and has injured their tongue
  • Loses control of their bowels or bladder, have difficulty speaking or seeing, and are unable to move their limbs.


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Page last reviewed: Mar 15, 2023

Next review due: Mar 15, 2025

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