Fainting can be Linked to Your Heart, Not Brain! | Max Healthcare
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Fainting can be Linked to Your Heart, Not Brain!

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Fainting and Heart Attack

Fainting can be Linked to Your Heart, Not Brain!

Dr. Vanita Arora
Director & Head – Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab & Arrhythmia Services, Senior Consultant-Cardiac Electrophysiologist & Interventional Cardiologist
Cardiology, Cardiac Sciences

Fainting if followed by the blurring of vision, black out, lightheadedness, feeling of nausea, dizziness should not be passed off as just a mere normal occurrence.

These could be a warning sign of a serious heart ailment. However, dizziness is normal after strenuous work, but if coupled with the signs mentioned above, it could be abnormal and warrant some seriousness if you are ignoring it.

What do you need to know about Fainting?

Fainting or Syncope, as known in medical terms, is a loss of consciousness. A person who has fainting spells returns to full consciousness but has no inkling of having lost it in the first place. The bout of fainting happens when the blood supply to the brain is hampered primarily due to low blood pressure.

There could be many reasons for fainting or passing out like:

  •  Anemia
  • Low blood sugar
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Improper blood circulations

While fainting as such is not a cause to press the panic button, falling after passing out can cause severe injuries, especially to the head.

While some fainting spells do not pose a major risk to the body, most of the cases are related to a heart problem. If fainting happens due to irregular heart rhythms -- Arrhythmia, then it should not be ignored and a medical advice must be sought at the earliest. Reasons for a fainting spell can come to the fore only after a proper diagnosis by the doctor, so in any case, a visit to the doctor is necessary.

When to rush to a doctor?

  • When fainting takes place while doing exercise, driving or during a rigorous activity
  • There is a numbness in the body
  • There is shortness of breath
  • There is a chest pain
  • It happens for a short span
  • If there is tingling in one part of the body

Triggers for fainting:

  • Suddenly standing up or Standing up for a long time
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Incessant coughing
  • Non-prescribed medication
  • Loss of body fluid
  • Fear or sudden scare

Arrhythmia is the major cause of fainting or syncope. There are two major conditions associated with Arrhythmia – Bradycardia and Tachycardia. When the heartbeat is too fast, it is bradycardia; while it is known as a tachycardia when the situation is just the contrary.

During tachycardia, the heart beats fast giving considerably less time to the heart to fill blood after each heartbeat. This blocks the adequate supply of blood to different parts of the body. In bradycardia, the heart rate is too slow to pump enough blood to the body parts. As in both the conditions, the supply to the brain is interrupted, the outcome is fainting.

Precautions to be taken:

  • Do not stand for a long time. Keep moving
  • If you have been sitting, then get up slowly
  • After a fainting spell, relax for a while
  • Immediately sit if you have blurred vision
  • Look for a safer place to sit
  • During dehydration, increase intake of fluids

Visiting a doctor is imminent in case of any kind of fainting as it will underline the trigger for such spells. If fainting is related to heart rhythm irregularity, doctors can gauge the same through regular monitoring and suggest a treatment plan which could involve implantation of devices like pacemakers or defibrillators.