Have you ever been in a gathering and all of sudden you notice someone faints and you begin to wonder what could have possibly gone wrong? Most people take fainting to be as a result of cessation of air. Fainting can be caused by a whole lot of factors. However, it is simply the interruption of oxygen supply to the brain. The medical term for fainting is ‘syncope’. It is accompanied with loss of consciousness which can span from seconds to few minutes. Some people say they feel dizzy, weak and nauseous before they faint. During this period, efforts should be put in place to restore oxygen to the brain as soon as possible to prevent further complications like brain damage and death.
- Fainting can be triggered by a whole of factors like:
- Anxiety or fear
- Intense pain or emotional trauma
- Standing up suddenly
- Overexertion in hot temperatures
- Coughing too hard
- Certain medications like anti-hypertensive, anti-depressants, anxiolytics
- Medical conditions like hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease
Types of fainting
- Vasovagal syncope; this type of fainting is associated with the stimulation of the vagus nerve during emotional trauma, sight of blood or prolonged standing
- Carotid sinus syncope; this type happens when the carotid arteryin the neck is constricted, usually after turning your head to one side or wearing a collar that’s too tight.
- Situational syncope; this type occurs due to straining while coughing, urinating, moving your bowels, or having gastrointestinal problems.
How to prevent fainting
The causes listed above should give an idea of what fainting entails and factors that predisposes it. It is important to know what to do when you feel signs of fainting and act immediately to prevent it.
- Ensure that you get up slowly from a sitting position
- Avoid standing for too long
- Ensure regular checks of your body parameters to ascertain if something is wrong
- Avoid staying in crowdy and confined spaces
- Make sure to drink enough water as much as you can
- Eat well made foods most importantly do not skip breakfast or any meal at all
- If you feel faint make sure to find a relaxing place to sit or lay down
- Avoid staying for too long in the sun
- Inasmuch as coughing is a defence mechanism to expel foreign body from the throat, ensure that you don’t cough too hard
- If you tend to feel faint at the sight of blood when getting your blood drawn or during other medical procedures, tell your doctor. They can take certain precautions to prevent you from fainting.
- If you feel lightheaded and dizzy make sure to put your head beneath your knees while you are seated.
- Stay away from whatsoever is causing you undue anxiety or fear or you can talk to someone about it.
- Try to stay still and reduce movement as much as you can when in severe pains to prevent fainting
- Ensure to use over-the counter painkillers to help you manage the pain especially in cases of dysmenorrhoea.
- Stay away for alcoholic consumption and hard drugs
- Ensure adequate treatment of any underlined condition you might have like heart disease or diabetes
- Make sure that you complain to your doctor if any medication causes you to feel faint so that an alternative treatment can be given