Syncope Specialist

Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists

Cardiovascular Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in Downriver Area, Southgate, MI

Syncope (fainting) can be a harmless event triggered by dehydration or the sight of blood. It can also be the sign of a heart condition that needs treatment to prevent serious complications. The team at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists in Southgate, Michigan, offers comprehensive care for syncope, beginning with diagnosing the underlying cause, continuing with customized treatment, and including long-term support that promotes your ongoing health and wellness. If you need an evaluation for fainting, call the Downriver area office or connect online and request an appointment today.

Syncope Q & A

What is syncope?

Syncope refers to losing consciousness, a problem that occurs when the blood flow to your brain suddenly drops. As a result, you faint and either fall or slump down in your chair.

There are several types of syncope associated with specific conditions or triggers. Vasovagal syncope is fainting that’s triggered by pain, stress, prolonged standing, or the sight of blood, for example. Syncope is also a common symptom of heart disease.

What heart conditions can cause syncope?

The most common reason for fainting is low blood pressure, a condition called hypotension. Heart problems can lead to low blood pressure, but there are many other reasons you could have hypotension. A few examples include low blood sugar, adrenal insufficiency, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and pregnancy.

Cardiovascular conditions that can cause syncope include:

  • Low heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Heart valve disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiomyopathy

Someone may feel lightheaded during a heart attack, but they seldom faint. A person does lose consciousness, however, during a sudden cardiac arrest because the heart stops sending blood to the brain.

What other symptoms may accompany syncope?

Most people experience symptoms before they lose consciousness, including:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tingling in the lips or fingertips

Syncope can also strike suddenly, making you faint without warning signs.

How is syncope treated?

The first step is finding out what causes your fainting. Your provider at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists reviews your medical history, learns about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam.

Based on the results of your exam, your provider decides if you need an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, vascular ultrasound, or other diagnostic testing. As soon as they diagnose the cause of your syncope, they develop a customized treatment plan that targets the underlying condition.

Considering the many possible cardiovascular conditions that can lead to syncope, it’s no surprise that you may need one of many possible treatments. 

These are only a few examples of the treatments used for some of the underlying causes of syncope:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable defibrillator
  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Bypass surgery

If you need help for syncope, call Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.