ANYTHING THAT CAUSES A DROP IN BLOOD PRESSURE
can trigger a fainting spell. Prolonged standing ( so that blood pools in the legs), dehydration, missing meals, oppressive heat ( as the body shunts blood into the skin to cool it down), being exhausted, unwell or pregnant, certain medications or having recently undergone prolonged bed rest may all make one prone to fainting. Psychological triggers, such as the sight of blood, the prospect of a needle, or distressing news, may also cause fainting. It is not always possible to avoid fainting, but you can decrease the risk by keeping well hydrated and avoiding overheating. Try to stand up slowly after lying down or sitting and eat regular meals or snacks. As soon as you feel faint, immediately lie down in a safe place so that you don’t fall. If you cannot lie down, at least sit down and let those around you know you feel faint. Loosen or remove any tight clothes, ties or belts. Lie down and raise your legs if you can to restore circulation to the head. If the fainting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as irregular pulse, chest pain, difficulty breathing or speaking, seek urgent medical attention as there could be a serious heart complaint or other underlying condition. If your fainting is recurrent you should also seek medical attention.
Dr Cindy Pan