Dizziness, fainting and loss of consciousness
Are dizziness, fainting and lost consciousness symptoms related to cardiac disease?
Dizziness and fainting may be caused by many things. Physicians can often rule out cardiac disease by interviewing the patient. The cardiologist conducts examinations based on the interview and to make a more specific diagnosis.
Temporary loss of consciousness is due to a sudden decrease in blood pressure, which interferes with cerebral blood circulation. If the oxygen deficiency lasts longer, that patient may develop muscular spasms and continence issues. The patient usually recovers his or her functional capacity quickly after the seizure. Cardiac fainting is usually due to arrhythmia, where a slow or fast irregular heart rate can cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure and loss of consciousness. The seizure may also involve a sensation of palpitations. Fainting may also result from a structural defect in the heart or blood vessels, in which case obstructions may cause fainting. In such cases, dizziness or fainting often occurs during exertion.
Repeated loss of consciousness – when to seek treatment?
The disease underlying transient loss of consciousness must be diagnosed quickly, regardless of the cause.
If dizziness or fainting is suspected to result from arrhythmia, it is essential to examine the structure of the heart in an ultrasound examination. Further examination options include a clinical stress test in order to check oxygen deficiency in the heart muscle as well as coronary artery angiography in order to rule out coronary artery disease. Tays Heart Hospital uses ECG to examine arrhythmia, including around‑the‑clock monitoring (Holter). An echocardiography is often required to examine heart structure.
It is always important to examine the cause of transient loss of consciousness.