Syncope - Fainting
In some cases, syncope may be the sign of a serious disorder. Syncope that occurs with exercise, heart palpitations, or irregular heartbeats may be related to a heart problem. People with a family history of recurrent syncope or sudden death may have a higher risk of cardiac related syncope. Syncope related to heart disease can cause stroke, heart attack, or sudden death.
Cardiac tests may be performed if you have recurrent syncope or if your doctor suspects a heart problem. The tests may include a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and echocardiogram. An ECG records the heart’s electrical activity. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce an image of the heart on a monitor. An exercise stress test involves monitoring your ECG and blood pressure while you exercise on a treadmill. The exercise stress test provides information about how your heart works with an increased blood flow. You may wear a Holter monitor for periods of 24 hours or more. A loop recorder can also be used to detect for rhythm abnormalities over a long period of time.
Tilt table testing is used to check for sudden drops in blood pressure or heart rate that can cause syncope. For this procedure, you are secured to a table, which will be positioned at different inclines for various periods of time. Your blood pressure and ECG will be recorded.
PreventionYou should follow your doctor’s recommendations if you have NMS. If you feel the warning signs of fainting, you should lie down and elevate your legs. It is important to follow your doctor’s guidelines and attend all of your doctor appointments
Am I at RiskYou should talk to your doctor about what triggers your fainting. In some cases, the trigger may be avoided. People with a family history of recurrent syncope or sudden death have an increased risk for syncope caused by a heart condition.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.