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Cardiology Specialists of Orange County

Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases & Board Certified Interventional Cardiologists located in Santa Ana, CA & Irvine, CA

Syncope, or fainting, isn't often due to a serious health issue, but in some cases, it could signify heart problems. If you're experiencing syncope, the expert team at Cardiology Specialists of Orange County can help. They have advanced on-site diagnostic facilities to pinpoint the cause of your syncope and provide the most effective treatment solutions. Find out how to resolve your fainting problems by calling the Santa Ana, Irvine, or Newport Beach, California, office or booking an appointment online today.

Syncope Q & A

What is syncope?

Syncope is a term for experiencing a temporary loss of consciousness – passing out or fainting. It often causes nausea, dizziness, and sweaty palms and makes you feel faint or light-headed.

Syncope can occur for non-life-threatening reasons such as blood pooling in your legs after you suddenly change your position, or:

  • Overheating
  • Dehydration
  • Heavy sweating
  • Exhaustion

Neurally mediated syncope (NMS) occurs when the part of your nervous system controlling your blood pressure and heart rate glitches. This problem usually happens when you experience a trigger, such as pain or emotional distress.

NMS is typically benign, and after resting, you should feel okay again. However, syncope can also be a symptom of serious heart disorders. 

If you experience syncope when exercising or have palpitations or arrhythmia when you faint, you should seek advice from Cardiology Specialists of Orange County. A family history of recurrent syncope is also a risk factor.

What heart conditions might cause syncope?

Heart issues causing syncope might include:

  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • Bradycardia (slow heartbeat)
  • Obstructions in your blood flow
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Cardiac ischemia
  • Severe aortic stenosis
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation

Syncope is a common problem that can result in hospitalization and potentially death in adults over 80.

How is syncope diagnosed?

If you're experiencing attacks of syncope, you should visit your doctor for a routine check-up, blood pressure measurement, and assessment of your heart rate.

An ECG (electrocardiogram) can often provide information about why you might be experiencing syncope. Your provider at Cardiology Specialists of Orange County might also want you to undergo additional tests, including an echocardiogram, exercise stress test, and Holter or event monitoring.

A tilt-table test could also be useful. This test takes place while you're lying on a table that tilts your body up and then back down. If you have NMS, you're likely to faint during the tilt test but regain consciousness quickly afterward.

How is syncope treated?

The recommended treatment depends on what's causing your syncope.

Simple measures may be helpful, such as increasing your salt and fluid intake if you're dehydrated or changing any medications that might be causing your syncope. You might also need to take medication to help prevent syncope.

If your syncope is due to a heart condition, medication or a minimally invasive procedure like catheter ablation might be necessary.

If you're experiencing syncope, find out why and how to overcome it by calling Cardiology Specialists of Orange County or booking an appointment online today.