Understanding the Causes of Fainting
Fainting occurs when one loses consciousness for a short time due to insufficient or lack of oxygen in their brain. It is a widespread issue, responsible for 3% of ER visits and 6% of hospitalizations. Though some causes of fainting are medical-related, fainting occurs even to the most healthy individuals.

Syncope is the medical word for fainting, however, it is more frequently referred to as “blacking out” or “passing out.” Fainting lasts a few seconds but may extend to minutes.

A victim may experience dizziness and drowsiness (presyncope) before going unconscious (syncope). Victims recover in a matter of minutes, soon after first aid for fainting. If they do not have an underlying medical problem, they may not require medical attention.

Fainting is seldom a reason for alarm, but it might be a sign of a significant medical condition. If you have no fainting history and have gone into syncope more than once in the last month, consult your physician.

Types of Fainting
Depending on the causes of fainting, there are three types of syncope. They include:
1.     Vasovagal syncope.
Vasovagal syncope is caused by a malfunction of the vagus nerve. It can be caused by psychological trauma, fear, the sight of bloodshed, or prolonged standing for an extended amount of time.
2.     Fainting related to the carotid sinus
This kind occurs when the carotid artery (located in the neck) narrows, generally as a result of tilting your head to the side or putting on an extremely tight collar.
3.     Syncopal episodes due to everyday situations.
This kind is caused by struggling while coughing, peeing, moving your intestines, or experiencing gastrointestinal issues.
Causes of Fainting: What Causes Syncope?
Fainting can be caused by a number of factors. The most widespread form of fainting is a simple episode, also known as a vasovagal attack.

It is particularly frequent among children and adolescents. A vasovagal attack occurs when blood pressure falls and slows down blood flow to the brain causing unconsciousness.

An episode usually begins when one is on their feet. It manifests with symptoms like warmth, a light head, nausea, and passing out.

So what could make one pass out?
●       Fear or another type of emotional distress
A psychogenic blackout is a mild form of fainting caused by fear, or any other form of emotional distress affecting the body’s normal function.

They are popular among young adults but may happen to anyone.
●       A seizure
Seizure and fainting aren’t two very different conditions. They are all a sign of malfunctioning nervous and circulatory systems.
●       Drug and substance abuse
Alcohol intake is commonly linked with blackouts. For most users, taking too much alcohol in a short time or on an empty belly can cause one to pass out.

Alcohol is a sedative drug with neurotoxic effects. This is to say most of its effects are on the body’s central nervous system (CNS)–no wonder booze can lead to blackouts. Remember,  your CNS is made up of your spinal cord and brain.
●       Intense pain
Intense pain is a major cause of fainting (vasovagal syncope) because it stimulates the vagus nerve.
●       Diabetes-related low blood sugar
Patients with severe hypoglycemia are unaware that their blood sugar is falling. If you have this disorder, your sugar levels might drop without you realizing it. You may lose consciousness, suffer a seizure, or maybe even slip into a coma if you do not receive immediate medical attention.
●       Hyperventilation
If you get extremely nervous or worried and breathe rapidly, you may pass out due to hyperventilation. This term refers to inhaling too much oxygen and emitting more carbon dioxide than you should.
●       Postural hypertension
Postural hypotension, also known as Orthostatic hypotension, is a type of low blood pressure that occurs when you rise up from a seated or sleeping position. Orthostatic hypotension can induce dizziness, loss of coordination, and even fainting.
●       Burnout
Burnout is one of the most common causes of fainting. It is common in group fitness sessions, during teamwork, or even at work. Working or exercising too hard might cause a fall in blood pressure or fatigue. This might make you feel dizzy, woozy, or even pass out.
●      Autonomous nervous system diseases
The autonomous nervous system is a component of the nervous system. More specifically, it monitors the heart’s involuntary processes, the constriction of blood vessels, and your breathing activities.

Some issues related to autonomic nervous system problems include dysautonomia, chronic post-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency, and chronic pre-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency. Any of the above conditions can cause fainting.

People with autonomous nervous system diseases are likely to experience various symptoms, such as sexual dysfunction, inability to control the bladder and bowel, reduction in the overall function of pupil reflexes.
●       Heart & blood vessel complications
Any complications in the heart and blood vessels that obstruct blood circulation to the brain can cause fainting. These could include:

These could include:

  • Heart block; complications with the heart muscle’s electric signals.
  • Sinus node problems (the sinus node plays a vital role in the heart’s beating),
  • Heart arrhythmia; this condition happens when a victim’s heart suffers an abnormal rhythm.
  • Pulmonary embolism. It is the term describing blood clots in a person’s lungs.

Lastly, extremely thin heart valves may also cause fainting in victims.
Causes of Fainting: When Should You Worry About It?
Fainting is a common cause for concern. And this is okay because while fainting is generally triggered by minor issues, it could also be a symptom of a significant medical problem. The challenge is that you can’t assess yourself accurately, and should let a doctor diagnose whether the fainting is alarming or not.

If a victim passes out, do not attempt to diagnose them; instead, seek emergency medical treatment. Still, you can issue first aid for fainting. However, it’s crucial to 911 or the nearest emergency services immediately if:

  • The Victim is expectant
  • They have fallen and suffered an injury or profuse bleeding
  • Chest pain is involved
  • The patient is known to have diabetes
  • Their limbs are immobile
  • The victim has heart arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat
  • Casualty can’t speak
  • The victim can no longer control their bowel and bladder
  • The victim has never fainted and is 50 years or above
  • Casualty looks extremely confused

Before calling 911, move the patient to a safer location and try to administer first aid while waiting for EMS services.

Bystanders can learn basic emergency response procedures through First Aid and CPR training.
Causes of Fainting: How to Prevent Passing Out
If you faint time and again, try to figure out what causes you to pass out so that you can avoid those situations.

Some of the safety measures to follow include:

  • Always rise gently from a seated or lying-down posture.
  • Speak to your doctor if you get dizzy when you see blood during tests or other surgical treatments. That way, they may take safety measures to keep you from passing.
  • Supply your body with energy and nutrients. Do not miss meals!
  • Learn the warning signs. A dizzy and light head is a red flag of fainting. If you experience any of these symptoms, sit down and tuck your head between your knees to assist blood circulation to the brain.

You may even lie down to avoid damage from a fall. Remain seated or lying down until you feel strong enough to get back on your feet.

Managing fainting due to medical disorders can be tricky. Discuss this matter with your doctor for professional advice.
First Aid for Fainting
When you notice a victim passing out, it’s crucial to act immediately. Because most people faint when blood fails to reach the brain, follow these steps to promote recovery:

  • Elevate their feet well above the heart level to encourage blood flow to the brain
  • Ask them to sit down with their head tucked between their legs.
  • Remove any tight-fitting clothing, including collars and belts
  • Let the patient lay down or stay seated sitting for 10 to 20 minutes. The greatest place to recover is cool and peaceful.
  • A refreshing sip of water may also help them recover

You can also attend First Aid and CPR training to discover more about fainting and the best practices during emergency response.

If the victim is still not breathing, contact 911 or your regional emergency services right away.
Final Words on Causes of Fainting
Though it seems trivial, fainting can be an emergency especially if the cause is medical-related. As you try to determine its cause (which can prove challenging if you are not a doctor), be sure to administer first aid treatment.

Lastly, passersby should consider First aid and CPR training. These sessions can improve the quality of bystander response to different emergency situations and help save more lives.