What is it?

Syncope is the medical term for fainting. It is an event of temporary loss of consciousness, which passes in a few moments with a full return to consciousness. The mechanism responsible for syncope occurrence is a sudden decrease in blood flow to the brain. There are 3 main types of syncope:
- Vasovagal syncope: This is a non-alarming form of syncope, which occurs during stress, excitement or prolonged standing.
- Orthostatic syncope This is a syncope that occurs due to a sharp drop in blood pressure, usually after a sudden change in posture (e.g. transition from sitting to standing).
- Cardiac syncope - This is a worrying type of syncope, which results from dysfunction of the heart.
There are other types of syncope as well. A syncope event requires a medical examination, as although the cause may be non-alarming, in some cases a cause that needs treatment will be discovered.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Transient loss of consciousness
- Fainting
- vasovagal syncope
- Neurocardiogenic Syncope
- cardiogenic syncope
- Vasovagal
- presyncope

Signs & symptoms

Syncope manifests as a brief event of loss of consciousness. Recovery from syncope is rapid, and in a situation where recovery is slow and involves vague consciousness, a non-syncope condition should be suspected. In some cases of syncope, there is a phenomenon called pre-syncope, which heralds impending fainting and includes dizziness, blurring, weakness and visual disturbances.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of syncope requires examination of the possible causes that can cause it. Diagnosis begins with an examination by a doctor, who will be ask about the characteristics of the syncope and will perform a physical examination, including a blood pressure test. Additional tests that may be needed:
- blood tests
- ECG test (electrocardiogram) - A test of the electrical activity of the heart.
- Echocardiogram - A cardiac imaging test
- Upright tilt test – a test in which the change in blood pressure is tested after a rapid posture change.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of the syncope. In many cases, the main treatment is to avoid the situations that cause syncope. In some cases, other treatment might be needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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