What causes fainting?
Fainting, likewise known as syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness that can be caused by so many factors such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (concussion): is a brain dysfunction caused by a hard outside force to the skull, for instance, a violent blow to the head, a bump, or a jolt.
- Psychological trauma: such as a severe depressive episode or an anxiety attack that occur after a challenging life situation leading to dizziness and temporary loss of consciousness at the end of the incident or attack
- Dehydration: caused by excess fluid loss through sweating, illness, or inadequate intake of water during hot seasons (summer especially) can cause the brain to shut down for a while, which is manifested as fainting.
- The sight of blood: causes some people to faint.
- Fear: scary situations such as being held at gunpoint, being attacked by an animal, or the fear of someone can trigger temporary loss of consciousness in some people.
- Heatstroke and heat exhaustion is a condition where the body temperature rises to a dangerous level leading to loss of consciousness or confusion. Heat exhaustion usually occurs in hot climates.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This is an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle that is resulting in the heart’s inability to pump blood to meet the body’s needs.
- Starvation (hunger): starving yourself to lose some weight may seem like a good idea, but the body needs glucose to function properly. In the absence of glucose, you become hypoglycemic, and some of the ways hypoglycemia manifests itself are headache, weakness, dizziness, temporary loss of consciousness (fainting), and an unconscious state (Coma).
- Vasovagal syncope: it is a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure caused by specific emotional or neurological triggers that lead to temporary loss of consciousness.
- Orthostatic syncope: This is a type of fainting that occurs while rapidly standing up from a sitting or lying position. It occurs due to a quick reduction of blood flow to the head.
- Transient ischemic attack: also known as a mini-stroke, is the loss of blood supply to the brain that caused dizziness and fainting.
- Acute complication of Diabetes Mellitus (Hypoglycemic Coma, ketoacidosis Coma)
- Aortic valve stenosis: this is the narrowing of the aortic valve. The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta; the aorta is the artery that carries blood to the body. The slow flow of blood to the brain leads to a temporary loss of consciousness.
- Arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythm)
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Bleeding (blood loss): for example, massive blood loss during menstruation (menorrhagia).
- Pulmonary embolism: is the presence of blood clots in the vessels of the lungs.
- Fainting is a loss of consciousness, and the person can be revived in minutes, but Coma is a loss of consciousness that can’t be quickly revived. Coma refers to as being unconscious.
- Fainting can be a sign of a significant disease of the lungs, brain, heart, nervous system, and kidneys, but fainting can also be a sign of issues as simple as heat exhaustion or fear.
- Some types of fainting seem to run in families. Therefore some types of fainting can be inherited.
- Fainting can be manageable by the treatment of underlying cause and removal of the trigger.