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Syncope – Overview



Let’s talk about syncope or fainting. Syncope is a very common cause of emergency room visits and affects patients of all ages. It’s a very difficult diagnosis because there’s so many reasons why patients could have syncope. Let’s talk about a few of them. If your heart rate is too slow, it may be a cause that your blood pressure would drop and cause syncope. Also, if your heart rate is too fast, it can have the same effect. Your blood pressure can drop and you can have syncope. Another cause would be that you have issues with the nervous system that allow the blood vessels to contract and relax and regulate the blood pressure. We call that autonomic dysfunction. That can also cause syncope. You could have dehydration, anemia, seizure disorder, among other reasons why you could have syncope. If you were diagnosed with syncope, you will most likely have a cardiac evaluation, including an EKG, an echocardiogram, a carotid ultrasound, orthostatic blood pressure measurements, potentially a tilt table study as well as many other tests, depending on which tests are positive and negative. The treatment of syncope depends on the etiology and diagnosis. If you have fainting spells, it’s very important to be seen by your doctor to avoid having trauma or accidents when you’re driving a car or performing physical activity. If you have syncope, please notify your doctor to begin the diagnosis right away.

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