Vasovagal syncope is a condition that is characterized by a temporary loss of consciousness. The condition occurs when an individual is exposed to stressful or overwhelming experiences. (i.e. sight of blood, fear, overheated, etc.) The vagus nerve is responsible for sending messages from the brain to the heart and digestive tract. When this nerve becomes over stimulated, the body encounters a sudden drop in blood pressure, and consequently there is reduced blood flow to the brain and ultimately loss of consciousness.
Common symptoms of vasovagal syncope may include light-headedness, temporary loss of color vision, dizziness, weakness, and fainting. Generally, individuals who suffer from a single episode of vasovagal syncope do not have any underlining heart problems. However, if the fainting occurs frequently, it is necessary to contact a doctor to examine your personal situation further.
Although there is no cure for vasovagal syncope, there are many treatment options to prevent future fainting episodes. These include identifying and avoiding situations that trigger fainting, transitioning slowly from sitting to standing positions, and wearing compression clothing to improve circulation. In more serious conditions, there are medication and surgical treatments available. If you or your family member has displayed symptoms of vasovagal syncope, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.