What to Ask: Fainting

Syncope (fainting) is not considered a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of one or more possibly serious conditions. You lose consciousness, become unresponsive, and your muscles go slack. After a few minutes, you recover spontaneously on your own. Syncope accounts for about 3% of emergency department visits and 2%-6% of hospital admissions each year. 

Here are questions you can ask your healthcare provider about syncope:

  1. I fainted recently. Will this happen again?
  2. Would drinking more liquids help to stop this happening to me?
  3. Could irregular heartbeats cause fainting?
  4. I have heart disease. Could this be the reason that I fainted?
  5. I had an achy, tight feeling in my chest the other day, then I fainted. Why did this happen? What can I do to prevent it from happening again?
  6. Could my prescription medicines cause my fainting spells?
  7. Could my over-the counter medicines cause my fainting spells?
  8. Could the herbal or other alternative preparations I take cause my fainting spells?
  9. I enjoy wine with my evening meal, but sometimes after a glass or so, I feel faint and once I blacked out. Could alcohol cause this?
  10. I blacked out after I emptied my bladder. What should I do about this?
  11. I blacked out after I emptied my bowels. What should I do about this?
  12. When I stood up the other day, I felt faint, then I blacked out. Why did this happen? What can I do to prevent this happening again?
  13. I had funny feelings in my head the other day, then I blacked out and fell. Why did this happen? What can I do to prevent it from happening again?
  14. Recently I feel tired all the time, and once I fainted. What testing do I need to find out what is wrong?