Common health issue

How Common Is syncope? What Are The Test To Determine Cause Of Syncope And What Are Its Treatment?


Syncope is one of the syndromes characterized by sudden-onset, brief loss of consciousness resulting from a temporary self-terminating period of total cerebral hypoperfusion. Syncope is the medical term for fainting, which happens due to a sudden drop in blood pressure, heart rate, or changes in the amount of blood in your body. In this regard, it is essential to note that the other conditions are epilepsy, concussions, metabolic disturbances, etc., which may cause a temporary loss of consciousness but are syncope.

Syncope is not a complete diagnosis. Identifying the cause of syncope is essential since syncope may be a marker of increased mortality risk in some cases. Still, even more often leads to physical injuries resulting from falls or accidents. The goal should be to determine the etiology of syncope with sufficient confidence to provide a reasonable assessment of prognosis, recurrence risk, and treatment options.

How Common Is Syncope?

Syncope is a common problem as it affects 3% of men and 3.5% of women at some point. Syncope is a common problem as you age and affects up to 6% of people over 75. The condition can occur at any age and happens in people with and without other medical illnesses

Test To Determine Causes Of Syncope

A fainting episode may be the symptom of a more severe underlying condition. So, there are lots of tests to determine the cause of syncope that includes;

  1. Laboratory testing – Blood work to check anemia
  2. Electrocardiogram– A test that records the electrical activity of your heart in which the electrode is applied to your skin to collect the information.
  3. Exercise stress test– A test that causes ECG to record your heart’s electrical activity while you are inactive in a condition. This is done on a treadmill which helps you to reach a target heart rate.
  4. Ambulatory monitor– You will wear a monitor with information about your rhythm and heart rate.
  5. Echocardiogram– A test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the heart’s structure.
  6. Head-up tilt test– A test that records your blood pressure and heart rate within a minute or beat-by-beat basis while the table is tilted to different levels as you stay head up. This test shows abnormal cardiovascular reflexes that cause syncope.
  7. Blood volume determination– A test is used to see if you have the right amount of blood in your body based on gender, height, and weight. Blood samples are taken and then analyzed. The blood volume analyzer system provides accurate test results within 35 minutes.
  8. Hemodynamic testing– A test is done to check the blood flow and pressure inside your blood vessels when your heart muscles contract and pump blood throughout your body. Three sets of images are taken using a small number of radioactive substances.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Your treatment will depend on the cause of the syncope and the results of your evaluation and testing. The goal of treatment is to keep you from having episodes of syncope, which includes the following treatments:

  • Taking medication or making changes to medication that you already take.
  • Wearing support garments to improve blood circulation.
  • Make changes to your diet as your doctor may suggest that you eat small, frequent meals, eat more salt, drink more fluids, and increase the amount of potassium in your diet.
  • Be extra cautious when you stand.
  • Elevating the head of your bed while sleeping can do by using an extra pillow and placing risers under the leg of the head of the bed.
  • Avoiding or changing the triggers that can cause syncope.
  • Treatment for heart disease.
  • Implanting a pacemaker to help your heart rate regularly.
  • An implantable cardiac defibrillator is a device that monitors your heart rate and also corrects a fast, abnormal rhythm.
  • Biofeedback training to control a fast heart rate as you can get more information for an evaluation with a biofeedback specialist by calling them.
  • To prevent further fainting episodes, people should try to avoid triggers such as long periods of standing, dehydration, and spending a lot of time in hot environments.
  • People mostly use beta-blocker to treat hypertension as this drug may also help if neurocardiogenic syncope interferes with a person’s quality of life.