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is also called fainting or passing out. Syncope is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness, followed by a fall from a standing or sitting position.

Signs and symptoms that may occur before syncope include the following:

  • Cold, clammy, and sweaty skin
  • Fast breathing and a racing, pounding heartbeat
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Headache, blurred vision, or double vision
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Tingling sensation or numbness

Seek care immediately if:

  • You are bleeding because you accidently hit your head after fainting.
  • You suddenly have double vision, difficulty speaking, numbness, and cannot move your arms or legs.
  • You have chest pain and trouble breathing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have another fainting spell.
  • You have a headache, fast heartbeat, or feel too dizzy to stand up.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for syncope:

Treatment depends on the cause of your syncope. To prevent syncope from happening again, you may need any of the following:

  • Medicines may be needed to treat any medical conditions that are causing your syncope. These may include medicines to help your heart pump strongly and regularly. Your healthcare provider may also make changes to any medicines that are causing syncope.
  • An increased intake of liquids and salt may be recommended. Liquids help to prevent dehydration. You may also need to increase your salt intake to keep your blood pressure from dropping too low and causing syncope.
  • Tilt training involves training yourself to stand for 10 to 30 minutes each day against a wall. This helps your body decrease the effects of posture changes and reduces the number of fainting spells.

Prevent syncope:

  • Sit or lie down right away if you feel faint or dizzy. Put your feet up higher than your head. This will get the blood flowing back to your heart and brain.
  • Move slowly and let yourself get used to one position before you move to another position. This is very important when you change from a lying or sitting position to a standing position. Take some deep breaths before you stand up from a lying position. Sudden movements may cause a fainting spell.
  • Move your legs often if you must sit or stand in one position for a long time. Do not lock your knees or cross your legs.
  • Avoid straining if you are constipated. Straining to have a bowel movement may cause you to faint. Walking is the best way to get your bowels moving. Eat foods high in fiber to make it easier to have a bowel movement. Good examples are high-fiber cereals, beans, vegetables, and whole-grain breads. Prune juice may help make bowel movements softer.
  • Do not exercise outside on a hot day.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.