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What causes fainting?

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Fainting is when you suddenly and briefly lose consciousness. It may have different causes. A simple episode, also called a vasovagal attack or neurally-mediated syncope, is the most common type and happens most often in children and young adults. A drop in blood pressure lowers the amount of oxygen going to the brain. That causes loss of consciousness. A simple fainting spell can stem from anxiety, fear, pain, intense emotional stress, hunger, or alcohol or drug use. In most cases, the person has no underlying problems with the heart, brain, or nerves. Spells can happen to people whose bodies have trouble regulating blood pressure, especially when they stand up too quickly. This type of fainting is more common in the elderly, people who recently had a lengthy illness that kept them in bed and people who have poor muscle tone.

SOURCES: 

Heart Rhythm Society. 

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

The Merck Manual.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on April 25, 2019

SOURCES: 

Heart Rhythm Society. 

American Academy of Family Physicians. 

The Merck Manual.

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on April 25, 2019

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How can hyperventilation cause fainting?

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