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Since there is a loss of consciousness at the time of fainting, we cannot remember what happened, we fall because of a loss of posture. Syncope is a symptom, there is always an underlying cause. Syncope occurs due to cardiac or non-cardiac causes.
What are the causes of cardiac (heart) related syncope?
Cardiac syncope (fainting) is defined as a temporary loss of consciousness due to insufficient cerebral blood flow due to a sudden decrease in cardiac output (stroke volume).
Arrhythmias, heart block, low blood pressure, valvular heart disease, cardiac ischemia may be the causes of heart-related syncope. Very fast or slow arrhythmias can change consciousness from mild dizziness to fainting. It may cause temporary complete heart block, cardiac arrest, severe tachycardia, and fainting. Without pre-symptoms, there is a sudden loss of consciousness and when the rhythm is corrected, the person immediately returns to normal. Stenosis of the main artery aorta or loss of consciousness with effort may occur in heart muscle diseases.
Temporary occlusion of the heart valve by a tumor or clot within the heart cavity is a rare condition that can cause syncope depending on the patient's position.
Injury during an attack indicates a more serious situation with sudden fainting and falling. In syncope that develops with cardiac arrhythmia, short-term spasm may be observed.
Syncope may also occur in cardiogenic shock. In this case, the patient may have urinary incontinence.
Are there also causes of syncope not related to the heart?
Most cases of syncope occur for reasons that are not related to the heart. This common type of fainting is called vasovagal syncope. It develops due to a sudden and rapid fall in pulse and blood pressure. Often, there are stimulating factors in a warm room, such as a heavy meal. There are preliminary symptoms such as nausea, sweating, yawning, and sometimes vision and hearing impairment. After the attack, the patient may be pale, sweaty and the heart rate is slow.
On the other hand, the excessive sensitivity of the receptors in the immediate vicinity of the carotid artery in the neck can slow the pulse and cause fainting. It can develop during shaving, when a tight tie is worn, when the head is overturned. It is not common.
Most normal patients may experience temporary dizziness due to rapid change of position. It is more common in the elderly. Postural hypotension is a common cause of fainting or dizziness that occurs when the patient is lying down and usually takes off suddenly from a lying or sitting position. The reason for this is often peripheral neuropathy, autonomic dysfunction, fluid loss or drug side effects.
Syncope may also develop due to neurological shock. In this type of fainting, consciousness is not immediately opened and the sleepy state continues.
Sometimes strong coughing attacks due to underlying lung disease can lead to syncope.