Syncope, or more commonly referred to as fainting, occurs when you temporarily lose consciousness as a result of an unexpected decrease of blood flow to the brain. Cardiologist and Cardiac Electrophysiologist Dr. Alizera Nazeri of Mobitz Heart and Rhythm Center in Houston, TX, encourages you to learn more about how syncope can be a sign of an underlying heart condition and what your next steps are.
Common Causes of Fainting
Whether you refer to syncope as fainting, passing out, or blacking out, they all mean the same thing: short-term loss of muscle strength, consciousness, and responsiveness. Even though your brain quickly and suddenly loses blood flow to the brain, these episodes are not long-lasting.
Sometimes when people experience syncope, it's not a result of any medical concerns, especially when no serious injuries occur.
However, the reasons that syncope occurs vary from mild to severe, including cases where people experience near syncope (i.e. feeling the similar sensation that you're going to faint but do not lose your consciousness).
The most common type of syncope is vasovagal syncope (VVS), which happens when an area that regulates blood pressure and heart rate in our nervous system, does not properly react to a highly emotional response (e.g. stress or pain).
Then, of course, there is cardiac syncope that is a result of a heart or vascular disease interrupting our regular blood flow to the brain—effectively denying oxygen and causing you to faint. Cardiac syncope typically occurs due to the following reasons:
- family history of heart and vascular diseases (e.g. arrhythmias, coronary heart disease congenital heart defects, etc.)
- low/high blood pressure
- bradycardia (i.e. unusually slow heartbeat)
- tachycardia (i.e. abnormally fast heartbeat)
- heart failure
- history of unexpected cardiac death in your family
- irregular heart valve function
- pulmonary embolism (i.e. blood cots that develops on a blood vessel that travels to the major lung arteries)
- and more
Diagnosing and Treating Syncope
When you visit Mobitz Heart and Rhythm Center for an initial evaluation of your experience with syncope in Houston, TX, you can should expect to provide: detailed accounts of your fainting episodes and applicable personal or familial medical history. Then, Dr. Nazeri will take necessary measurement of your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as perform a thorough physical examination.
Depending on the observed results, you may be recommended for additional testing to properly identify the main cause of your syncope.
If Dr. Nazeri diagnoses you with cardiac syncope, he will carefully develop a treatment plan to decrease or completely prevent your experiences of fainting.
Protect Your Heart Health
To discover the cause of your syncope in Houston, TX, visit with Dr. Nazeri at Mobitz Heart and Rhythm Center, and schedule an appointment today, by calling (713) 909-3166.