• Fainting (Syncope)

    Fainting (also known as syncope) is the temporary loss of consciousness and tone in the body that results from a temporarily inadequate blood supply to the brain. Insufficient blood flow to the brain may be due to a decreased amount of blood leaving the heart or to increased pooling of blood in the rest of the body. This can occur after sudden changes in body position (going from lying down to standing or from sitting to standing). Syncope can also be associated with pain, straining while going to the bathroom or even with hair brushing.

    Syncope is extremely common in children and particularly in teenagers. It is one of the most common reasons for referral to a pediatric cardiologist or neurologist. Fainting typically does not necessarily indicate a serious heart condition, but it is a good idea to talk to your doctor if your child experiences a fainting episode.

    Signs That a Fainting Spell May Occur

    Commonly, there are symptoms that precede the fainting spell. These symptoms may include:
    • Dizziness
    • Blurred vision
    • A sense of “tunnel vision”
    • “Seeing spots”
    • Changes in hearing
    Occasionally, a child may feel the sensation of the heart beating harder, slower or faster than usual.

    Fainting that occurs during exercise should not be considered normal and should be promptly evaluated.

    Learn More

    There are a number of different types of fainting spells, depending on the cause. To learn more about the different types of fainting spells and their causes, click here.