Fainting is a brief, sudden loss of consciousness. You become unresponsive, lose muscle tone, and may fall. Usually, you will recover completely in a few seconds or minutes.
Usually fainting is not caused by a serious or life-threatening medical problem. However, if you are known to have heart disease, or you faint during even mild exercise, the cause may be serious and you may need prompt medical attention.
Fainting is fairly common. The medical term for fainting is syncope.
There are many possible reasons for fainting.
You may faint suddenly without any other symptoms. Or at first you may feel nauseous or sweaty. If your fainting is caused by a heart problem, you may have a fast or irregular pulse. Sometimes people say they felt like their heart was jumping around in their chest. You may feel short of breath, or you may feel pressure in your chest. If you have a heart valve problem, you may have some chest pain, especially with exertion, before you faint.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history, particularly about the times you have fainted. How you felt before and after you fainted are important facts that can help your provider diagnose the problem.
Your provider will ask about the medicines you take and will examine you.
Depending on your age and health history, you may have some tests.
Even if you have all of these tests, the exact cause for fainting may not be found.
The treatment of fainting is based on the cause.