How to fall when you faint

Fainting is a sudden loss of consciousness due to a lack of blood flow to the brain. Know the signs that you’re about to faint and what to do if it happens.

In the movies, fainting always bears some drama. Perhaps a woman learns she’s pregnant. (Or perhaps her partner is the one who faints!) She falls over, flat on her back or onto her face, in shock. Or maybe she gingerly collapses into the arms of her partner.

In real life, though, fainting (also called syncope) isn’t typically quite like it is on the big screen. Fainting is a sudden loss of consciousness due to a lack of blood flow to the brain. It can happen to both kids and adults at any age.

Since the brain isn’t getting enough blood flow to stay conscious, the brain stops sending signals to the muscle cells. Muscles lose their tone, and the body collapses. It can look like anything from a shake to a tremble, shudder or seizure.

Fainting is usually a temporary and momentary event. People typically wake up quickly after fainting because more blood flows to the brain after you fall or lie down.

Though fainting does happen suddenly, most people experience some common signs and symptoms in the moments before they pass out. Some common ones include:

  • confusion
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • nausea
  • slow pulse
  • blurred or tunnel vision
  • sudden difficulty hearing
  • confusion
  • sweating
  • frequent yawning
  • pale, sweaty or flush color
  • feeling hot
  • weakness
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • hyperventilating
  • a bluish tint to the skin
  • shaking or trembling
  • seeing spots in front of your eyes

When to call 911
Most people don’t experience harmful consequences when they faint, unless they hit their heads or otherwise injure themselves when falling.

However, sometimes fainting can signal a medical emergency such as a concussion, heart attack, stroke or seizure.

After someone has fainted, call for emergency help if the person:

  • has diabetes
  • is pregnant
  • is over 50 years old
  • fell from a height
  • is bleeding or injured
  • is unconscious for more than a minute
  • can’t clear his throat or cough
  • has chest pain, discomfort or pressure
  • has an irregular or pounding heartbeat
  • has difficulty speaking or can’t speak
  • is confused
  • has tingling or numbness
  • can’t feel or move a limb

Common causes
Some of the most common and less serious reasons that people faint include:

  • standing for a long time
  • standing up suddenly
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • use of certain drugs (such as ones to lower blood pressure or certain antipsychotic drugs)
  • pregnancy
  • migraine
  • hyperventilation
  • anemia
  • increased pressure in the chest (caused by issues like straining to pass stool or urine or coughing)
  • pain, fear or another strong emotion

Preventing fainting
If you think you’re going to faint, you can take measures to try to prevent it from happening:

  • Sit with your head lowered between your knees. It will help blood circulate to the brain. Move slowly to an upright seated position. Then stand.
  • Lie down if possible. This will help blood circulate to the brain. Once you feel better, stand up again slowly. Move from a sitting position to a standing one.
  • Maintain blood circulation. If you have to stand or sit for a while, occasionally tense your leg muscles or cross your legs. This process will help improve blood flow to the heart and brain. Also avoid environments that are cramped, stuffy or overheated.
  • Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids. That’s especially important if you’re playing a sport or it’s hot outside.

How to fall when you faint

Whether it’s something serious or not, there are a few things to do after you faint. Fainting can be scary, especially if you’ve never fainted before, if you’re alone, or if you’re outside your own home. It can be caused by conditions like low blood pressure, stress, or even exhaustion, but other causes can be rather serious, including heart disease. Often, fainting is followed by a slight panic, not only by you, but also by those who surround you. In any case, try to stay calm and remember that you have these things to do after you faint.

Table of contents:

1 Lie down

One of the things to do after you faint is to lie down. When you wake up, you might feel light in the head and tired, so while you’re most likely already on the floor, stay there for a few minutes. If someone is near you, ask for a damp washcloth to place on your forehead. When you feel like you can, stand up carefully, move yourself to the nearest couch or bed, and lie down again. Some people may feel fine after a few minutes, but it’s important to take it slow after you faint.

2 Assess Yourself for Injuries

The next thing to do is to assess yourself for injuries. If you fell on the floor, you may have hurt your head or other body parts and it’s always good to check for cuts and bruises at this point. If someone is near you, you can ask him or her to help check and to help treat the cuts or bruises that you may have gotten during your fall. Although it’s not the ideal situation, assessing yourself for injuries is particularly important, yet it’s not easy if you fainted while being alone. Remain seated at the least or, if you must check, slowly walk to the mirror to double check some body parts.

3 Call Someone

If you’re alone, you should always let someone know that you have just fainted. Even though you may think it’s nothing serious, letting someone else know about the situation is the best thing you can do. The person may be able to come over to your house, and if this isn’t possible, you can ask this person to call you every hour or so to check if you’re doing OK. You could even ask the person to ask you questions, just to make sure you remember everything, but whenever possible, always ask someone to come over to stay with you for an hour or so.

4 Drink Juice

The next thing to do is to drink a glass of juice. Any fruit juice will do really, as long as it’s sugary. Yes, just this once you’ll be encouraged to consume sugary drinks. You might have fainted due to hypoglycemia, which occurs when your glucose levels are too low. Drinking fruit juice will help you boost your glucose levels again. People who are on diets sometimes experience low glucose levels, because they are trying to cut out certain foods. Keep in mind that the body needs sugar every few hours or so and any type of fruit will keep your glucose at a steady level.

5 Eat Something

You might not be craving a BLT sandwich after you faint, but it is important to eat something. With your juice, you can have some crackers, but some even say that ice cream is a good way to increase your alertness and to reduce your drowsiness. Eating something after you faint can help you get those glucose levels back in place and most find the crispiness of cracker (or a chewy muesli bar) a good food for after you fainted. If you faint regularly, it would be good to keep some easy snacks in your purse. Whenever you start to feel shaky, you can sit down and reach out for your snack.

6 Take It Easy

While you may feel OK after a few hours, it’s best to take it easy for the rest of the day. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to crawl under the covers, but you should definitely listen to what your body tells you. So if those covers are calling you, give in to it and take a short nap, but if you’re good to watch a movie on the couch, that’s OK too. Especially if you usually don’t faint, you might have also had a scare. Avoid situations that may cause stress and take some time for yourself.

7 Visit a Doctor

Although you probably think it’s nothing, visiting a doctor will help to stop you from worrying about the how and the why. So if there’s someone to drive you to the doctor, you should definitely make use of it. The doctor may ask you a few questions and he or she may take a blood sample to check if everything is OK. Depending on your doctor, the results will be in either on the same day or in a week or so, and he or she will be able to tell you if there was something wrong. If nothing was found, at least you know it’s not serious and that it was probably something minor like temporary low glucose levels, stress, or exhaustion.

I had a bit of a scare a while ago, when I fainted for the first time in my life. Thankfully, someone was there to catch me on time, but I wouldn’t have known what to do if I’d been alone. Since then, I’ve been reading up on it and I do keep some snacks in my purse whenever I’m on the road. Do you have any additional tips or things to do after you faint? And if you’ve fainted before yourself, what was the cause of it?

Topic Overview

What is fainting?

Fainting is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness. When people faint, or pass out, they usually fall down. After they are lying down, most people will recover quickly.

The term doctors use for fainting is syncope (say “SING-kuh-pee”).

Fainting one time is usually nothing to worry about. But it is a good idea to see your doctor, because fainting could have a serious cause.

What causes fainting?

Fainting is caused by a drop in blood flow to the brain. After you lose consciousness and fall or lie down, more blood can flow to your brain so you wake up again.

Most causes of fainting are usually not signs of a more serious illness. In these cases, you faint because of:

  • The vasovagal reflex, which causes the heart rate to slow and the blood vessels to widen, or dilate. As a result, blood pools in the lower body and less blood goes to the brain. This reflex can be triggered by many things, including stress, pain, fear, coughing, holding your breath, and urinating.
  • Orthostatic hypotension , or a sudden drop in blood pressure when you change position. This can happen if you stand up too fast, get dehydrated , or take certain medicines, such as ones for high blood pressure.

Fainting caused by the vasovagal reflex is often easy to predict. It happens to some people every time they have to get a shot or they see blood. Some people know they are going to faint because they have symptoms beforehand, such as feeling weak, nauseated, hot, or dizzy. After they wake up, they may feel confused, dizzy, or ill for a while.

Some causes of fainting can be serious. These include:

  • Heart or blood vessel problems such as a blood clot in the lungs , an abnormal heartbeat , a heart valve problem, or heart disease.
  • Nervous system problems such as seizure , stroke , or TIA .

Sometimes the cause is unknown.

When is fainting the sign of a serious problem?

Fainting may be the sign of a serious problem if:

  • It happens often in a short period of time.
  • It happens during exercise or a vigorous activity.
  • It happens without warning or if it happens when you are already lying down. (When fainting is not serious, a person often knows it is about to happen and may vomit or feel hot or queasy.)
  • You are losing a lot of blood. This could include internal bleeding that you can’t see.
  • You feel short of breath.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You feel like your heart is racing or beating unevenly ( palpitations ).
  • It happens along with numbness or tingling on one side of the face or body.

What examinations and tests might you need?

To find the cause of fainting, a doctor will do a physical examination and ask questions about the fainting episode. You can help your doctor by being prepared to describe what happened before you fainted, how long you were “out,” and how you felt when you woke up.

Depending on what the physical examination shows, the doctor may want to do tests. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests.
  • Heart tests such as ECG , ambulatory monitoring (with a Holter monitor or event monitor, for example), echocardiogram , or an exercise stress test.
  • A tilt table test. This test checks how your body responds to changes in position.
  • Tests for nervous system problems, such as CT scan of the head, MRI of the brain, or EEG .

What should you do about fainting?

If you know you tend to faint at certain times (such as when you get a shot or have blood drawn), it may help to:

  • Sit with your head between your knees or lie down if you feel faint or have warning signs such as feeling dizzy, weak, warm, or sick to your stomach.
  • Drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • Stand up slowly.

You may need to see a doctor if you have ongoing dizziness or fainting.

Credits

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD – Internal Medicine
David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP – Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

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Collapsing has a range of causes. Usually it’s because a person has fainted, and they recover quickly, but it can be due to something more serious.

Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance if someone:

  • collapses while sitting or lying down
  • has a seizure
  • has chest pain or palpitations
  • develops a sudden, severe headache
  • has problems breathing

What is a collapse?

You collapse when you fall down for no obvious reason (for example, you have not had a trip or fall). A collapse may happen when you become unconscious for a few seconds, such as when you faint. You might fall to the ground and not respond to sounds or being shaken. Your pulse may become faint and you might even stop breathing.

A person collapses when their brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. When you’re on the ground, it’s easier for the heart to pump oxygen to the brain.

You should always seek medical attention if you collapse — the sooner, the better. It could be a sign something is seriously wrong, and collapsing is a common cause of injuries, especially in older people.

What causes a collapse?

Fainting occurs when the heart rate drops and the blood vessels widen. This causes blood to pool in the legs, meaning less blood reaches the brain. Fainting is also called syncope. It can be caused by triggers that include heat, standing for a long time, seeing blood, or a shock. It can also happen when you stand up quickly, especially if you are tired, dehydrated or have low blood pressure or low blood sugar.

Very occasionally, people collapse without losing consciousness — their muscles just give way. This can happen due to problems with generalised weakness and frailty, a problem with the heart or brain, a seizure or an issue affecting the inner ear.

Other, more serious, causes of collapse include:

  • a heart attack
  • a stroke
  • a seizure
  • a major illness
  • an injury or accident, especially if there has been a blow to the chest or head
  • a drug overdose
  • alcohol poisoning

Collapse treatment

If someone collapses, follow these steps. You can remember them by thinking “Doctor’s ABCD” (for DRS ABCD).

DRSABCD ACTION PLAN

Letter Representing What to do
D Danger Ensure that the patient and everyone in the area is safe. Do not put yourself or others at risk. Remove the danger or the patient.
R Response Look for a response from the patient — loudly ask their name, squeeze their shoulder.
S Send for help If there is no response, phone triple zero (000) or ask another person to call. Do not leave the patient.
A Airway Check their mouth and throat is clear. If there is foreign material, roll the patient on their side and clear the airway. If there is no foreign material, leave them in the position you find them in and gently tilt their head back and lift their chin to clear the airway.
B Breathing Check if the person is breathing abnormally or not breathing at all after 10 seconds. If they are breathing normally, place them in the recovery position and stay with them. If they are not breathing normally, call an ambulance and start CPR.
C CPR Start CPR: 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths. Continue CPR until the patient starts breathing or until help arrives.
D Defibrillation As soon as possible, attach an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to the patient and follow the voice prompts. Do not leave the patient alone to fetch the defibrillator — let someone else bring it.

After a collapse, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor or the hospital will run tests including blood sugar levels, blood tests, heart tests, a urine test to rule out an infection and x-rays, especially if you injured yourself when you collapsed. You may need to have intravenous fluids, medicines or oxygen.

Collapse self-help

Do not drive after you have collapsed. Make sure there is someone with you. Follow your doctor’s instructions on eating and drinking, and take any medicines they may have given you.

How to prevent a collapse

If you are likely to faint, avoid triggers like standing up too quickly or getting dehydrated. When you change position or stand up after lying or sitting, do so slowly and carefully.

What is syncope?

Syncope (SINK-a-pee) is another word for fainting or passing out. Someone is considered to have syncope if they become unconscious and go limp, then soon recover. For most people, syncope occurs once in a great while, if ever, and is not a sign of serious illness. However in others, syncope can be the first and only warning sign prior to an episode of sudden cardiac death. Syncope can also lead to serious injury. Talk to your physician if syncope happens more often.

Pre-syncope is the feeling that you are about to faint. Someone with pre-syncope may be lightheaded (dizzy) or nauseated, have a visual “gray out” or trouble hearing, have palpitations, or feel weak or suddenly sweaty. When discussing syncope with your doctor, you should note episodes of pre-syncope as well.

Becoming unconscious due to a seizure, heart attack, head injury, stroke, intoxication, blow to the head, diabetic hypoglycemia or other emergency condition is not considered syncope.

Someone who faints should be moved so they are lying down to allow blood to flow to the brain. If they do not regain consciousness promptly, start CPR.

What causes syncope?

Syncope occurs when there is not enough blood flow to the brain. There are many potential causes, but the most common ones include:

Serious Cardiovascular Conditions (Cardiac Syncope)

If fainting occurs frequently and is not because of dehydration or sudden postural change, you may need to be tested for a serious heart or vascular condition. Cardiac syncope often occurs suddenly, without dizziness or other pre-syncope symptoms.
Common causes of cardiac syncope:

Arrhythmia and abnormal heart rhythm: During episodes of heart arrhythmia, the heart works inefficiently and not enough oxygenated blood can circulate to the brain. There are many types of cardiac arrhythmias that may cause syncope. These include bradyarrhythmias (the heart beats too slowly) and tachyarrhythmias (the heart beats too fast).

Aortic dissection, a tear in the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. This is a very rare but life-threatening condition.

Aortic valve stenosis, a narrowing of the valve between the heart and the aorta. Aortic valve stenosis can be congenital (present from birth) or can develop in old age.

Reflex Syncope (Neurally Mediated Syncope, Vasovagal Syncope, Vasodepressor Syncope, the Common Faint)

Reflex syncope is the result of a reflex response to some trigger, in which the heart slows or blood vessels dilate (widen). This causes blood pressure to drop, so less blood flows to the brain and fainting (syncope) or near-fainting (pre-syncope) occurs. Reflex syncope is the most frequent cause of fainting.

Vasovagal syncope — the common faint — occurs in one third of the population. It is by far the most common form of reflex syncope. Vasovagal syncope is often triggered by a combination of dehydration and upright posture. But it can also have an emotional trigger such as seeing blood (“fainting at the sight of blood”).

Some Vasovagal Syncope Triggers

Seeing blood (not considered a serious symptom)

Getting an injection or having blood drawn (not considered serious)

Standing up quickly (a “head rush” is considered pre-syncope)

Standing upright for a long time

Sudden and unexpected trauma, stress or pain, such as being hit

Other types of reflex syncope include:

Situational syncope, a sudden reflex response to a trigger other than those listed above. Triggers include:

Coughing, sneezing, laughing, swallowing

Pressure on the chest after exertion or exercise

Urinating (post-micturition syncope: occurs in men while standing to urinate)

Sudden abdominal pain

Blowing a brass instrument or lifting weights

Carotid Sinus Syncope, a response in older adults that occurs when pressure is applied to the carotid artery in the neck. A hard twist of the neck, wearing a tight collar and pressing on the artery are triggers for carotid sinus syncope.

Orthostatic Hypotension

Orthostatic (upright) hypotension (low blood pressure when standing) can also cause fainting because blood has trouble going against gravity to reach the brain. Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a fall in systolic blood pressure of 20 mmg Hg or more on standing, resulting in syncope or pre-syncope. Orthostatic hypotension is common in elderly individuals and is often exacerbated by dehydration or medications that lower blood pressure, such as diuretics. Less commonly, orthostatic hypotension can be caused by a neurologic condition such as Parkinson’s disease or multisystem atrophy, formerly known as Shy-Drager syndrome.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (increased heart rate when standing), or POTS, is a rare clinical syndrome characterized by an increase in heart rate of at least 30 beats per minute on standing and orthostatic intolerance — when standing brings on symptoms such as palpitations, lightheadedness and fatigue. POTS generally appears in young women. After excluding other causes, the diagnosis is made on physical examination, medical history and tilt-table test. Treatment usually consists of increased salt and fluid intake, recumbent exercise (not standing upright) and education in avoiding triggers. POTS does not usually get worse with age.

How is syncope diagnosed?

It’s important to identify the cause of syncope, if possible, to rule out a dangerous heart condition. Depending on your symptoms and circumstances, the following tests may be used to find the cause:

On-site Diagnostic Tests

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): wires taped to various parts of your body to create a graph of your heart’s electrical rhythm

Exercise stress test: ECG recorded while strenuously exercising

Physical examination, including orthostatic vital signs and carotid sinus massage

Tilt table test: measurement of heart rate and blood pressure in response to upright tilt, which simulates prolonged standing

Electrophysiology study (EP): test that examines the heart’s electrical activity from the inside; used to diagnose many heart rhythm disorders

In-home Diagnostic Monitors

Holter monitor: a portable ECG you wear continuously for one to seven days to record your heart rhythms over time

Event monitor: a portable ECG you wear for one or two months, which records only when triggered by an abnormal heart rhythm or when you manually activate it

How is syncope treated?

The treatment for syncope will depend upon the underlying condition but may include:

Catheter ablation: procedure to cauterize the specific heart cells that cause abnormal heart rhythms

Pacemakers: device inserted under the skin below the collarbone to deliver regular electrical pulses through thin, highly durable wires attached to the heart; used to treat bradycardia, heart block and some types of heart failure

Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs): a small implanted device that delivers an electrical pulse to the heart to reset a dangerously irregular heartbeat; often used to treat ventricular tachycardia or heart failure

Topic Overview

What is fainting?

Fainting is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness. When people faint, or pass out, they usually fall down. After they are lying down, most people will recover quickly.

The term doctors use for fainting is syncope (say “SING-kuh-pee”).

Fainting one time is usually nothing to worry about. But it is a good idea to see your doctor, because fainting could have a serious cause.

What causes fainting?

Fainting is caused by a drop in blood flow to the brain. After you lose consciousness and fall or lie down, more blood can flow to your brain so you wake up again.

Most causes of fainting are usually not signs of a more serious illness. In these cases, you faint because of:

  • The vasovagal reflex, which causes the heart rate to slow and the blood vessels to widen, or dilate. As a result, blood pools in the lower body and less blood goes to the brain. This reflex can be triggered by many things, including stress, pain, fear, coughing, holding your breath, and urinating.
  • Orthostatic hypotension , or a sudden drop in blood pressure when you change position. This can happen if you stand up too fast, get dehydrated , or take certain medicines, such as ones for high blood pressure.

Fainting caused by the vasovagal reflex is often easy to predict. It happens to some people every time they have to get a shot or they see blood. Some people know they are going to faint because they have symptoms beforehand, such as feeling weak, nauseated, hot, or dizzy. After they wake up, they may feel confused, dizzy, or ill for a while.

Some causes of fainting can be serious. These include:

  • Heart or blood vessel problems such as a blood clot in the lungs , an abnormal heartbeat , a heart valve problem, or heart disease.
  • Nervous system problems such as seizure , stroke , or TIA .

Sometimes the cause is unknown.

When is fainting the sign of a serious problem?

Fainting may be the sign of a serious problem if:

  • It happens often in a short period of time.
  • It happens during exercise or a vigorous activity.
  • It happens without warning or if it happens when you are already lying down. (When fainting is not serious, a person often knows it is about to happen and may vomit or feel hot or queasy.)
  • You are losing a lot of blood. This could include internal bleeding that you can’t see.
  • You feel short of breath.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You feel like your heart is racing or beating unevenly ( palpitations ).
  • It happens along with numbness or tingling on one side of the face or body.

What exams and tests might you need?

To find the cause of fainting, a doctor will do a physical exam and ask questions about the fainting episode. You can help your doctor by being prepared to describe what happened before you fainted, how long you were “out,” and how you felt when you woke up.

Depending on what the physical exam shows, the doctor may want to do tests. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests.
  • Heart tests such as ECG , ambulatory monitoring (with a Holter monitor or event monitor, for example), echocardiogram , or an exercise stress test.
  • A tilt table test. This test checks how your body responds to changes in position.
  • Tests for nervous system problems, such as CT scan of the head, MRI of the brain, or EEG .

What should you do about fainting?

If you know you tend to faint at certain times (such as when you get a shot or have blood drawn), it may help to:

  • Sit with your head between your knees or lie down if you feel faint or have warning signs such as feeling dizzy, weak, warm, or sick to your stomach.
  • Drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • Stand up slowly.

You may need to see a doctor if you have ongoing dizziness or fainting.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Shen W-K, et al. (2017). 2017 ACC/AHA/HRS guideline for the evaluation and management of patients with syncope. Circulation, published online March 9, 2017. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000499. Accessed March 30, 2017.

Credits

Current as of: February 26, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD – Internal Medicine

Fainting, or sudden loss of consciousness, is fairly common, and can happen either unintentionally or on purpose. Fainting usually occurs when there is reduced blood supply to the brain, or a disturbance in neuronal signaling. Somebody who has fainted on the ground will often regain consciousness fairly quickly as the blood circulation returns to normal. In addition to natural causes, fainting can also be artificially induced, but this is not recommended. However, if you want to learn how to make yourself faint, read on.

Facts on Fainting

When your brain is not being supplied with sufficient oxygen, you may lose consciousness for a while and faint. The fainting episode can last between a few seconds and several minutes.

The exact reason for the fainting episode may not be obvious, but could be down to one of the following factors:

  • Epileptic seizure
  • Intense pain
  • Hyperventilation – quick, shallow breaths
  • Low blood sugar levels due to insulin overdose or long periods without eating
  • Fear or emotional distress
  • Sudden decreases in blood pressure – this can be caused by certain drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, allergies, and high blood pressure
  • Changing position, or standing up too quickly
  • Dehydration
  • Over-exertion, particularly in hot climates
  • Standing still for too long
  • Overdosing on alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Straining when constipated
  • Coughing too much
  • Some people become faint when turning their head to one side. This may be due to the neck bones squeezing the blood vessels.

How to Make Yourself Faint

How to fall when you faintSometimes, people intentionally make themselves faint. However, this is not recommended, as you could seriously injure yourself, either during the process of inducing a fainting spell, or when you hit the ground. If you’ve decided that you do want to try this, always do it in front of someone else, and make sure that you have an unobstructed, cushioned landing. Remember, this is a dangerous thing to attempt.

  1. As mentioned above, sudden changes in your blood pressure can lead you to faint. If you are using blood pressure drugs, you can induce a fainting spell by failing to take the correct dosage or by stopping the drug altogether.
  2. By stopping eating, your blood sugar levels will dramatically decrease, which results in light-headed feelings and possible fainting. Diabetic patients can experience fainting if they do not manage their diet well or take too much insulin.
  3. As your brain requires oxygen for full consciousness, you can bring about a fainting episode by holding your breath until you pass out.
  4. You can also faint through over-breathing, or hyperventilating. This disrupts your breathing rhythm and you will have too little carbon dioxide in your body.
  5. Here’s another method for how to make yourself faint. Sit down and hyperventilate. After 30-60 seconds, stand up and hold your breath. You’ll see darkness, and then faint. The fainting can last from 2 to 15 seconds. It may not work at first, but after a while, you’ll figure it out.
  6. You can also use a bag over your mouth when you hyperventilate. However, this can make you confused and behave strangely. You may also suffer memory loss and become mentally impaired.

How to Pretend to Faint

  1. Choose your moment. Depending the desired reaction, you can pretend to faint amongst a big or small number of people. However, if you choose a crowded place, be aware that you may get trodden on!
  2. Act it up. If you’re walking, begin to slow your pace. Hang your head, sigh, and squint a bit, but don’t overact.
  3. Become quiet and withdrawn. Slowly stop talking. Pretend that you’re trying to focus by squinting and blinking several times.
  4. Reduce your energy. For extra realism, you’ll need to appear light-headed and weak before hitting the floor. Slowly lose your focus and let your body weaken. Make your breathing labored.
  5. Say you’re feeling unwell. Tell people that you feel strange, and need some water or fresh air. Alternatively, ask if you can sit down. Stay seated for a bit, then slowly get up from your chair, stumble forward, and fall over. You may want to say something such as “I think…”, but don’t finish your sentence.
  6. Be careful when you fall. You don’t want any injuries. If you’re standing, bend your knees, letting them hit the ground before your upper body. Get the speed right – you don’t want to seem too cautious, but simultaneously, you don’t want to look electrically shocked. If you’re sitting, allow yourself to naturally fall from the chair. Aim to land on your thigh, not your hip, then drop your upper body.
  7. Make your fall seem genuine. Shut your eyes and allow your body to go floppy, as if your bones are not there to support you. Relax and go down in a heap to appear realistic.
  8. Keep acting while you’re lying down. Don’t let your body stiffen. If somebody tries to raise your arm, don’t tense your muscles; allow it to drop when they let go. To prevent anyone calling Emergency Services, ensure you don’t stay “out” for too long – a few seconds is best.
  9. Return to “consciousness”. Inhale deeply and reopen your eyes. It’s usual to have forgotten the episode, so mention that you remember feeling hot or ill, but nothing after that.
  10. Recover from the faint naturally. Gradually sit up, then after a while, carefully get to your feet, or ask someone for help. If you want to increase the drama, you can get up too quickly, ask what’s going on, then pretend to feel faint again!

Now you know how to make yourself faint, but always do it with care!

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  • Passing Out from Pain: Why and What to Do

Passing out because of pain is not uncommon but rather scary. It is necessary to learn about the causes of this condition and how you can deal with it.

How to fall when you faintFainting, or syncope, is a decreased flow of blood to the brain which causes loss of consciousness and posture for a brief moment.

There are many possible causes of fainting. Among those are heart problems, such as irregular heartbeats, seizures, anxiety or panic attacks, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, anemia, and nervous system problems that affect your blood pressure. Apparently healthy people sometimes pass out, and it is important to know when one must see a doctor. However, there are situations in which people pass out from extreme pain, let’s find out why it happens and how to deal with it.

What Are the Causes of Fainting?

The causes of fainting may be multiple. A vasovagal attack or a nerve-related syncope is a simple episode, which is the most common cause of fainting. This mostly occurs in children and young adults. It is due to a sudden drop in blood pressure, which lessens the amount of blood passing through the brain and causing a loss of consciousness. Before the attack, the victim will feel a sensation of warmth, lightheadedness, nausea, and what is referred to as a visual gray out. Normally, the attack happens while one is standing. A seizure can be triggered if fainting is prolonged.

Why Do People Pass Out from Pain?

Your blood pressure and heart rate are regulated by your autonomic nervous system. When sudden pain occurs, your blood pressure and heart rate can dramatically decrease, affecting the amount of blood flow to the brain. Fainting is the result of this stress on the body, chiefly the abrupt decrease of blood flow.

There is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that a person’s pain threshold is related to fainting, although every individual has a different pain tolerance level. The reason why pain tolerance differs from one person to another is still unclear. Certain studies suggest that some people can endure more pain than others because of an underlying genetic component.

Passing out is one of the body’s self defense mechanisms. Passing out puts the brain in a calmed state and causes it to shut down for a while or black out. In the process, brain chemicals or neurotransmitters such as serotonin and endorphins begin to accumulate in the brain. The adrenal glands also begin to work to produce hormones that help you recover from fainting. A very important note is that if this happens often, remember to keep tabs on how often you experience fainting in order to avoid anything more serious.

Experience of Others Passing Out From Pain

Case 1 – Pain from Endometriosis

“I’ve been in pain for the entire weekend; there was a heavy feeling in my side. I was in a lot of pain the other day and when I stood up, I was in so much more pain that I passed out for about ten minutes. I was just lying down on the floor for a couple of hours until my sister found me after wondering why I wasn’t replying. I have endometriosis. I was supposed to visit the doctor in five days but he rescheduled until after Thanksgiving then changed it again saying it’s on the second week of December!”

Case 2 – Severe, Sharp and Sudden Pain

“I had a severe headache with sharp pain and I passed out after what felt like forever. When I regained consciousness, I couldn’t speak and I had a really bad pain in the neck. I’ve been having a bad headache for the last two days. The doctor says I fainted because it was a “typical migraine”. Do other people also pass out? I’ve been doing it 4 times in the last couple weeks. My blood pressure and everything else came out normal, so the doctors say it is just “stress”.

What to Do About Passing Out from Pain

What can you do if you feel like you’re going to faint?

  • Lie on your back flat on the ground and put your legs up on an elevated surface like a chair or against a wall, or sit down and put your head between the knees.
  • Squat with your weight on your heels. This is very effective and will attract less attention in public.
  • Stay in this position until you feel better then get up carefully. If symptoms come back, go back to the position.
  • Check the person’s breathing and airway. If needed, begin CPR and rescue breathing and call 911.
  • Free the airway by loosening the clothing around the neck.
  • Bring the person’s feet up about 12 inches above heart level.
  • Turn the person to make them lie on their side if he has vomited to prevent choking.
  • Keep him lying down in a quiet or cool place for about 10 to 15 minutes, or let the person sit forward with the head between the knees.

You can take immediate treatment steps when someone has fainted:

  • Check the person’s breathing and airway. If needed, begin CPR and rescue breathing and call 911.
  • Free the airway by loosening the clothing around the neck.
  • Bring the person’s feet up about 12 inches above heart level.
  • Turn the person to make them lie on their side if he has vomited to prevent choking.
  • Keep him lying down in a quiet or cool place for about 10 to 15 minutes, or let the person sit forward with the head between the knees.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call 911 if the person:

  • Is pregnant
  • Is older than 50 years old
  • Has just fallen from a height, especially if he is bleeding or injured
  • Does not regain consciousness within a few minutes
  • Is diabetic (look for a medical identification bracelet)
  • Feels chest discomfort, pain, or pressure.
  • Has an irregular heartbeat
  • Has vision problems, cannot speak or move one of their limbs
  • Has a loss of bowel or bladder control, convulsions or tongue injury.

If you faint often, have never passed out before, or have new symptoms with fainting, you should see a doctor even if it is not an emergency situation. Arrange an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

More Causes for Passing Out

Besides passing out from pain, most people pass out have no underlying heart, nerve, or brain problem. You could be suffering from a simple fainting spell because of pain. Fainting can happen during or after you:

  • Urinate
  • Strain during a bowel movement
  • Stand in place for a long time
  • Cough hard

Fainting can also be associated with:

  • Emotional stress
  • Severe pain
  • Fear

Other causes of fainting:

  • Some medicines like those used for high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and allergies, which may cause a decrease in blood pressure.
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Seizures
  • Bleeding or severe dehydration, resulting in a decreased blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Sudden standing from a lying down position
  • Hyperventilation

Heart disease, a heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, and stroke are less common, but more serious causes of fainting. However, these are more likely in people over the age of 65 years old.