Fainting symptoms but didn’t faint


A variety of conditions can cause presyncope. The most frequent trusted Source cause does not involve heart problems. Medication side effects, water dehydration, or anxiety can cause it. Heart conditions can cause presyncope.

This article will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of fainting without actually fainting.

What does presyncope mean?

The medical term for fainting is syncope. Presyncope or near syncope is when a person is almost at the point of fainting. This is the moment just before you lose consciousness.

Presyncope can affect someone for minutes or seconds. Presyncope can be as severe as syncope. This is only sometimes the case. Presyncope can have mild or life-threatening causes.

Presyncope symptoms

Presyncope can cause:

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • A feeling of the room spinning
  • Blurred or tunnel vision
  • nausea or vomiting
  • headache
  • Sweating
  • heart palpitations
  • Abdominal discomfort or stomach pain
  • Confusion or confusion
  • Slurred speech

Even if they don’t lose consciousness, their fall risk increases.

Causes and symptoms of presyncope

Presyncope can be caused by reduced oxygenated blood flow to the brain. This is called cerebral hypoperfusion. It can happen for a variety of reasons.

Noncardiac presyncope

It is the most common type of presyncope. This includes vasovagal syncope, which is caused by the vagus. It is a large, thick nerve that runs behind the throat and down the abdomen.

The vagus can become overactive and cause low Blood Pressure. This will reduce blood flow to your brain. This is often caused by orthostatic intolerance. Insufficient blood flow can cause symptoms such as dizziness when a person stands.

When a person’s blood pressure drops by at least 20 millimeters (mm Hg), or ten mmHg diastolic, within 3 minutes after standing up or sitting down, they are said to be experiencing orthostatic hypotension.

Presyncope is more likely to occur if you have a trusted source.

  • Dehydration
  • Bed rest for older adults
  • Certain medications can affect fluid or blood pressure levels.
  • Many underlying conditions can affect the nervous system.

Stress or intense emotions can trigger presyncope in some people.

Cardiac presyncope

Presyncope may be caused by mechanical heart problems or irregular heart rhythm. In this case, presyncope may indicate a more severe Trusted Source disorder.

An irregular heart rhythm can prevent the heart from pumping enough oxygenated blood throughout the body and brain. Both slow and rapid heart rates can cause presyncope and syncope.

Presyncope can be caused by mechanical problems in the heart when the heart cannot pump enough blood. Aortic stenosis is a condition of the heart valve. At the same time, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an enlargement of the heart muscle cells, as well as the thickening and thickening of the walls of the heart chambers.

Palpitations can occur in a person who has cardiac presyncope. This can happen while they are lying down, sitting, or exercising.

Diagnosing Presyncope

A doctor will examine the patient, ask questions about their symptoms, review any medication they are taking, and conduct a physical exam to diagnose presyncope.

The doctor will ask the patient to sit and then stand to determine if there is orthostatic intolerance.

A doctor will first rule out any life-threatening causes. It may be necessary to perform tests on the heart’s function, such as an echocardiogram.

Other tests include:

  • a finger stick glucose test
  • Blood tests that measure electrolytes and cardiac enzymes, as well as blood cell count, lactate, and electrolytes
  • CT scans the head

Treatment of presyncope

The treatment for presyncope depends on the severity and cause of symptoms. It could be fluids, rest, medication, or dose changes to treat side effects.

Doctors may suggest counter-pressure physical maneuvers to reduce symptoms. A 2020 systematic reviewTrusted Source indicates that moving the body in different positions can stop a person from fainting when experiencing presyncope.

These body movement examples are from a trusted source.

  • Leg crossing with muscle tension
  • squatting
  • Tensing of the arms
  • Handgrip isometric
  • Neck flexion

Doctors will need to investigate if the cause of presyncope is challenging to determine or if it keeps occurring. They may admit a patient to the hospital if they feel that the person is at high risk for adverse outcomes.

To help doctors make this decision, they can use the Boston Syncope criteriaTrustedSource. These criteria include risk factors that can lead to severe illnesses, including:

  • The acute coronary syndrome is characterized by a sudden decrease in blood flow to your heart.
  • History of heart disease or heart valve disease
  • Family history of premature deaths
  • Conduction disease is a dysfunction of the electrical system that controls heart rate and rhythm.
  • Atypical vital signs such as persistently high or low body temperatures, breathing rates, heart rate, and blood pressure
  • Extreme volume loss or fluid loss in the area outside the cells of the body

Other Conditions

Presyncope symptoms, like feeling weak or lightheaded, may be similar to other conditions. These symptoms can also be caused by:

  • stress or anxiety
  • anemia
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • low blood sugar
  • heat exhaustion

A doctor can test or eliminate these other causes.


Presyncope is when someone feels as if they will faint but does not lose consciousness. Presyncope can cause lightheadedness, weakness, and excessive sweating.

Many different things can cause presyncopes. Most presyncope cases are mild and easily treated, but some may require hospitalization if they are heart-related.

Various factors can cause presyncope, and the severity can vary. Anyone experiencing this condition must consult a physician.

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