Vasovagal Syncope – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

“Vasovagal syncope” is the term given to describe sudden unexplained fainting attacks. There are a number of different syncope syndromes which all fall under the umbrella of vasovagal syncope. In patients with vasovagal syncope (also called Fainting), the initial cardiovascular response to an upright posture appears to be relatively normal. Vasovagal Syncope affects patients of all ages, both with and without other medical conditions, and has a broad number of causes. It is valuable to assess the relative contribution of cardioinhibition and vasodepression before embarking on treatment as there are different therapeutic strategies for the two aspects. Vasovagal syncope is triggered by a stimulus that results in an exaggerated and inappropriate response in the part of your nervous system that regulates involuntary body functions, including heart rate and blood flow. Vasovagal syncope is often preceded by a rise in blood pressure and heart rate, followed by widening of the vessels and a drop in blood pressure.

People with vasovagal syncope typically have recurrent episodes, usually when exposed to a specific trigger. The initial episode often occurs when the person is a teenager, then recurs in clusters throughout his or her life. The most common cause of fainting is due to vasovagal syncope. Common triggers of vasovagal syncope include standing for long periods, dehydration, the sight of blood, coughing, urination, having a bowel movement and emotional distress. With accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, Vasovagal syncope can be resolved in most patients. Moreover, in patients with heart problems, Vasovagal syncope may be a warning sign for a impending sudden death. Vasovagal syncope is not a serious or life threatening condition, but in effect an abnormal reflex. In many patients the condition is linked with physical or emotional trauma. Fainting is common, and treatment is unnecessary in most cases.

Causes of Vasovagal syncope

The common causes and risk factor’s of Vasovagal syncope include the following:

Vasovagal syncope most often happens to people in stressful or painful situations that causes them Anxiety, for example, when having blood drawn or receiving an injection.

Certain prescription medications, such as some high blood pressure medicines that cause your blood pressure to drop.

Alcohol use or drug use, or both.

Having a bowel movement (especially if straining).

Organic heart disease.

Patients who suddenly and unexpectedly lose consciousness can be injured.

Symptoms of Vasovagal syncope

Some symptoms related to Vasovagal syncope are as follows:

Nausea and rarely vomiting can precede episodes.

Pale appearance to your skin.

Feeling of warmth.


Sweating or blurring of vision before the fainting attack.



Difficulty hearing or ringing in your ears.

Treatment of Vasovagal syncope

Here is list of the methods for treating Vasovagal syncope:

Occasionally, a doctor may prescribe medications called beta blockers, which may diminish the chance that triggers will cause vasovagal syncope.

In some patients with more frequent symptoms, nonpharmacologic measures may be adequate.

If fainting is involved, then lying down with elevation of the legs and removal of the offending stimulus will rapidly restore consciousness. If there are no contraindications, a diet with more salt may be beneficial.

There are certain orthostatic training exercises which have been proven to improve symptoms in people with recurrent vasovagal syncope.

Occasionally, a pacemaker, radiofrequency ablation, or orthostatic training may be required.