Taking Part in The Conversation: Do You Know Why People Faint?


It happens all the time. Maybe someone is dehydrated, or gets the shock of their life. It could even be an indicator of a more serious health problem. There are a ton of factors that can potentially cause a person to pass out. But Dr. Anne Crecelius, an associate professor of health and sport science at the University of Dayton, writes that almost all instances of fainting are because the brain is not getting enough blood. This is the topic of her latest piece on The Conversation.

This is the physical cause of fainting. But we all know someone who gets light-headed at the mere sight of blood. What’s going on there? Dr. Crecelius states that sometimes when the body senses a stressor, like the sight of blood, a fear-filled response is triggered. This includes an increased heart rate. However, often the body tries to regulate this and lowers the heart rate, sometimes by too much. This overcompensation causes a person’s blood pressure to drop. In this case, the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, and bam, consciousness is lost.

There are, however, some steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of you passing out. First, staying well-hydrated is key in maintaining sufficient overall blood volume. And if you do start feeling woozy, try laying down, bending your knees, and elevating your legs to help blood flow to your brain. Contracting your leg and arm muscles can also help. Dr. Crecelius concludes the article with this helpful reminder: “Remember that an occasional episode of vasovagal syncope is likely not of concern, as long as you haven’t been injured in the process. But if fainting occurs repeatedly, it’s worth scheduling a medical exam.”

To read the full article, head over to https://theconversation.com/why-do-people-faint-109620