Have you ever stood up too fast and felt so lightheaded you thought you might pass out? That is what a syncope (pronounced ‘sin-ko-pea’) episode feels like at its onset. Syncope is a more technical way of referring to the act of fainting. But it is much more complicated than you might think.
These fainting spells can happen for many different reasons. At the core of it is the fact that there is a sudden decrease in blood flow going into your brain. When this happens, you lose consciousness, and down you go to the floor.
Emergency room staff see syncope episodes every once in a while. It is estimated that about 3-5% of emergency room visits in the United States every year involve someone fainting. What’s more, about 42% of the population will experience a syncope episode at some point during their life.
So, why does this happen? Why is it happening to you? Is it something you…