Syncope is a temporary loss of consciousness caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. It is commonly known as fainting or passing out. During a syncope episode, an individual may experience a sudden and brief loss of consciousness, followed by a spontaneous recovery.


There are numerous potential causes of syncope, which can include:

  • Orthostatic hypotension: a drop in blood pressure upon standing up suddenly
  • Vasovagal syncope: a result of intense emotional distress or fear
  • Cardiac arrhythmias: irregular heart rhythms affecting blood flow
  • Neurological conditions: such as seizures or migraines
  • Dehydration or heat exhaustion
  • Side effects of medications


Common symptoms experienced during a syncope episode may include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Pale skin
  • Yawning or feeling nauseous
  • Loss of consciousness


The treatment for syncope largely depends on its underlying cause. In cases where it is uncontrollable or poses a significant risk, various interventions may be recommended, including:

  • Medications: to manage conditions contributing to syncope
  • Lifestyle changes: such as avoiding triggers and staying hydrated
  • Cardiac procedures: like pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation
  • Surgery: for certain structural heart defects causing syncope


To help prevent syncope episodes, individuals can consider the following measures:

  • Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet
  • Avoid sudden changes in posture
  • Identify and manage triggers, such as stress or anxiety
  • Take medications as prescribed and report any side effects to a healthcare professional
  • Wear compression stockings if prone to orthostatic hypotension