Before you faint due to vasovagal syncope, you may experience some of the following:
- Skin paleness
- Tunnel vision — your field of vision is constricted so that you see only what's in front of you
- Feeling of warmth
- A cold, clammy sweat
- Blurred vision
During a vasovagal syncope episode, bystanders may notice:
- Jerky, abnormal movements
- A slow, weak pulse
- Dilated pupils
Recovery after a vasovagal episode begins soon after fainting, generally in less than a minute. However, if you stand up too soon after fainting — within 15 to 30 minutes or so — you're at risk of fainting again.
When to see a doctor
Because fainting can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a heart or brain disorder, you may want to consult your doctor after a fainting spell, especially if you never had one before.
Feb. 19, 2013
- Syncope. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manuals for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/symptoms_of_cardiovascular_disorders/syncope.html#v1145025. Accessed Jan. 15, 2013.
- Humphries RL, et al., eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=55749292. Accessed Jan. 14, 2013.
- Jardine DL. Vasovagal syncope: New physiologic insights. Cardiology Clinics. 2013;31:75.
- Aminoff MJ, et al. Clinical Neurology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=66. Accessed Jan. 14, 2013.
- Angaran P, et al. Syncope. Neurology Clinics. 2011;29:903.