ZocdocAnswersWhy do I pass out randomly?

Question

Why do I pass out randomly?

So I have passed out about 4/5 times now. I am 22 years old. I know everytime ahead of time when it's going to happen. I get really hot. I start to hear ringing and then I just go black. It normally doesn't last more than 20 seconds until I have a group of people over me trying to wake me up. I passed out like 3 times about 3 years ago all in the same year and i thought it was over and now all of a sudden 3 years later I passed out last night... Same exact thing happened as before. Someone please help me.

Answer

I am sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms. I can only imagine that it must be very scary. The condition you seem to have is called syncope, which means "passing out" or "blacking out". It is a serious condition and should be investigated by a doctor. There are many reasons that can explain syncope. The one you described sounded like you had a prodrome, meaning you had symptoms before you actually passed out. A vasovagal reaction can cause syncope when someone is startled, scared, or emotional. The body causes an increased parasympathetic reaction which causes you to feel lightheaded, flushed, warm, tingling in your finger tips, and eventually passing out. Another possibility is orthostatic hypotension which means that your blood pressure drops when you stand up from a sitting position. When you stand up, gravity works against blood flow; however, a normal person compensates by increasing their heart rate to maintain blood pressure. People with orthostatic hypotension cannot do this. Their blood pressures are low when they stand and the brain is not adequately perfused with blood, which causes someone to pass out. Anemia is a condition in which a person has low red blood cell counts which carry oxygen. The body needs oxygen, especially the brain. If someone has anemia, they do not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the brain when they have increased demand by the body during exercise or exerting activities. Another possibility that can cause syncope is cardiac in origin such as an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is an abnormal heart beat of the heart that can disrupt the blood flow of the heart from reaching the brian and the rest of the body. Seizures (abnormal electrical activity in the brain) and strokes (blockage of a blood vessel in the brain) can also cause someone to have syncope. People with seizures and strokes can have weakness and confusion after their syncope. Your history is very concerning and you should make an appointment to see a primary care physician. Depending on the findings, your physician can refer you to specialist if needed. If you have another episode before seeing your physician, you should go to the emergency room.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.