Fainting, also called passing out or syncope, is a temporary loss of consciousness. It’s caused by a sudden decrease of blood flow to the brain. An episode typically lasts a few seconds or minutes. Most fainting spells are not a cause for concern.

Is there a difference between blacking out and fainting?

Some people use the terms blackout and fainting interchangeably, but they are two different things. A blackout is a loss of memory. Fainting, also called passing out, is a loss of consciousness.

What is the most common reason for fainting?

A simple episode, also called a vasovagal attack or neurally-mediated syncope, is the most common type of fainting spell. It is most common in children and young adults. A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness.

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What is the difference between passing out and being unconscious?

Fainting is not the same as being asleep or unconscious. When a person faints, it’s usually temporary and the person can be revived in a few minutes. Someone who is unconsciousness, however, won’t respond to attempts to revive him.

Is there a difference between blacking out and fainting?

Some people use the terms blackout and fainting interchangeably, but they are two different things. A blackout is a loss of memory. Fainting, also called passing out, is a loss of consciousness.

What is the most common reason for fainting?

A simple episode, also called a vasovagal attack or neurally-mediated syncope, is the most common type of fainting spell. It is most common in children and young adults. A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness.

What happens before you faint?

The stressful event stimulates a bodily reflex called the vasovagal reaction. The heart slows down and pumps less blood, so blood pressure drops. Then the brain doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood, and the person faints.

What to do after almost fainting?

Position the person on his or her back. If there are no injuries and the person is breathing, raise the person’s legs above heart level — about 12 inches (30 centimeters) — if possible. Loosen belts, collars or other constrictive clothing. To reduce the chance of fainting again, don’t get the person up too quickly.

Should I go to the ER after fainting?

‘ If you have fainted, you should see a physician or visit an emergency room right away to identify the cause of your fainting and to ensure you do not have a serious underlying condition. Generally, fainting indicates a drop in blood pressure resulting in too little blood (and, hence, oxygen) reaching your brain.

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What happens to your body when you faint?

Fainting (also called syncope) occurs when your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen or nutrients. It could be due to an overreaction of the parasympathetic nervous system. This system in the body normally calms the body down by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.

Should I go to doctor after fainting?

More often than not, fainting will not lead to a diagnosis of a serious medical condition, but it is always best to call your doctor and get checked out. Your doctor will go over your medical history and perform a physical exam.

How long do you faint for?

Most fainting will pass quickly and won’t be serious. Usually, a fainting episode will only last a few seconds, although it will make the person feel unwell and recovery may take several minutes. If a person doesn’t recover quickly, always seek urgent medical attention.

Is it OK to sleep after fainting?

It is recommended that you lay the person down and elevate their feet. Most people will recover quickly after fainting once they lay down because more blood can flow to your brain.

How do you help someone who fainted?

If you see someone faint, lie the person on his or her back and make sure they are breathing. If possible, lift the person’s legs above heart level to aid blood flow to the brain. Loosen all constrictive clothing such as collars or belts. If the person is not breathing, start CPR.

What causes fainting or blackouts?

Most unexplained blackouts are caused by syncope Many people, including doctors, assume that blackouts are due to epileptic seizures, but much more commonly they are due to syncope (pronounced sin-co-pee) – a type of blackout which is caused by a problem in the regulation of blood pressure or sometimes with the heart.

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How long do you faint for?

Most fainting will pass quickly and won’t be serious. Usually, a fainting episode will only last a few seconds, although it will make the person feel unwell and recovery may take several minutes. If a person doesn’t recover quickly, always seek urgent medical attention.

Is there a difference between blacking out and fainting?

Some people use the terms blackout and fainting interchangeably, but they are two different things. A blackout is a loss of memory. Fainting, also called passing out, is a loss of consciousness.

What is the most common reason for fainting?

A simple episode, also called a vasovagal attack or neurally-mediated syncope, is the most common type of fainting spell. It is most common in children and young adults. A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness.

What is the difference between passing out and being unconscious?

Fainting is not the same as being asleep or unconscious. When a person faints, it’s usually temporary and the person can be revived in a few minutes. Someone who is unconsciousness, however, won’t respond to attempts to revive him.

Are your eyes open when you faint?

Your eyes will usually stay open. Orthostatic hypotension: this is a fall in blood pressure on standing up, which can cause fainting.

What to drink after fainting?

If you feel lightheaded, drink some fruit juice or water. “I feel lightheaded” might be a complaint coming from a person who hasn’t eaten enough or who is dehydrated.

Is it OK to sleep after fainting?

It is recommended that you lay the person down and elevate their feet. Most people will recover quickly after fainting once they lay down because more blood can flow to your brain.

About the Author

While living in a residential meditation and yoga ashram from 1999 to 2013, Leon devoted his life to the study and practice of meditation.
He accumulated about 15,000 hours of practice over many longer immersion retreats, including hours of silent meditation, chanting, prostrations, and mantra.
While participating in a "meditation marathon," he once sat in meditation for 40 hours straight. More importantly, he fell in love with meditation during this time.

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