It is not always the disease or infection which causes our bodies to retaliate in a certain way. There are incidents of fear or fright which makes us loose our senses for some time. This is because of intense emotional experience that we face in that fraction of seconds. Some people fear needle or height or sometimes blood and they faint. This neurological reflex of the body towards that event is called Vasovagal Syncope. It is very common and can happen with anyone, so there is nothing to panic in this situation. But to tackle it we need to understand it in greater depth.
What Is Vasovagal Syncope?
According to Dr. Tanu Singh, Clinical Psychologist at Healthcare Clinic, Lucknow explains the phenomenon of Vasocagal Syncope as Neurocardiogenic reflex or reflex syncope. When a person experiences extreme fear or series of emotions, it triggers the person and causes heart rate and blood pressure to go up significantly. It reduces blood flow in your brain causing you to become unconscious in some situations. This is more common in children and younger adults than elder people. There is no as such treatment for it but a person can go for therapy to trigger situations. If this happens to often then you must get tested as well for precautionary purpose.
What Are The Symptoms for Vasovagal Syncope?
Before fainting one experience many symptoms that can give an indication of it, if you experience these symptoms then you can possibly prevent yourself from collapsing. The symptoms are-
- Pale skin
- Narrowing of vision
- Light headedness
- Feeling sweaty and warm suddenly
- Blurred Vision
Even though you may not be able to feel but people around you can see some changes in your body. It can be helpful and prevent you from falling. The symptoms for them could be-
- Abnormal movements in your body
- Slow or weak pulse
- Dilated Pupils
Vasovagal episode does not last long and soon enough the body recovers. But take rest for atleast 15-20 minutes so that you do not faint again. If you try standing immediately, then there are chances of you collapsing again.
Causes Of Vasovagal Response
There are nerves which are specially to control the heart beats in your body. They are also responsible for regulating the blood pressure and controlling width of the blood vessels. These nerves work along with others to ensure proper working of your brain and getting oxygen-rich blood. But when you react to situation which creates extreme pressure on your nerves, then they tend to mix up and suddenly open wide. This causes the blood pressure to drop.
Slow blood pressure and heart rate reduce the amount of blood flow into your brain. Because of this process, the person faints or passes out. Having intense emotional breakdown also results in similar reaction. These situations can include-
- Heat exposure
- Seeing blood
- Having blood drawn from the body
- Fear of bodily injury
- Straining too much to have a bowel movement
- Standing for long period of time.
Is Vasovagal Syncope Risky? When to See a Doctor?
Most of the people are unaware of the condition until they go through it once. Vasovagal Syncope is a common cause of fainting. This is not a very risky situation for your health if it has only happened once or twice till now due to some extreme fear of yours. But if this episode keeps on repeating then there is a cause of concern. It can be due to some underlying health condition. In this case you must visit your doctor and get your health check-up done.
If you have never fainted before and suddenly faint then it can be an indication of conditions like diabetes, heart disease or Parkinson’s disease. It can also happen due to side-effect of some medications, mostly it is anti-depressants. Anti-depressants affect your blood pressure and lower your BP which in some cases causes fainting. In this case, consult your medical practitioner, he may regulate or reconsider your dose of anti-depressants.
Risk Factors for Vasovagal Response
In some cases, there is an extreme need of medical care if the person has got unconscious after these conditions-
- Fall from a height
- Injury on head after falling
- Unconsciousness for more than 1 minute
- Having chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Loose bladder or bowel movements
- Having trouble while hearing or in vision
- If she is pregnant
- Feeling confused after hours of that episode
- Appear to have seizure
Vasovagal Syncope is a trigger situation which makes you unconscious because to extreme emotions mostly fear or fright. It happens more often to kids and young adults than to elder people. If this happens more than once or without certain triggers which you know off, then you must visit a doctor because it could be result of underling condition. There are some symptoms which you can feel before fainting, if you experience any of those, you must find a safe place to sit. This can prevent you from falling or getting injured. Also if you face some abnormal behaviour after vasovagal episode then, immediately consult a doctor.
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