Seniors are twice as likely as younger people to experience fainting episodes. Fainting usually occurs when blood flow to the brain is reduced or stopped. The condition is a temporary loss of consciousness and can be a sign of an underlying condition. Fainting accounts for six percent of emergency room visits and hospital admissions.
As we age, the prevalence of fainting increases, as our bodies cannot cope with the decreasing blood pressure that often comes with age. Fainting is difficult to diagnose in seniors, due to the range of possible causes.
Fainting, also called syncope, can occur for a variety of reasons.However, a specific cause for fainting cannot always be found. Fainting is common among older people and those who have certain health conditions, such as diabetes. There are a range of other medical conditions that can cause fainting. Those conditions include heart issues, seizures, low blood sugar, anemia and issues with the nervous system.
Studies show that fainting can occur as a result of genetics. While a medical condition may be sometimes indicated by fainting, fainting can also occur in an otherwise healthy individual. Fainting is especially dangerous for seniors, who can suffer serious injuries while fainting. In most instances, complete consciousness is regained within a few minutes of fainting.
Fainting may happen for a variety of reasons, including dehydration, stress, certain medications, overheating, grief, exhaustion or illness. Standing for prolonged periods in hot weather can also cause fainting. Typically, a fainting episode occurs while standing and is preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness and impaired vision. If fainting is prolonged, a seizure can be triggered.
Many who faint can recover quickly, without any harmful consequences; however, there are instances when fainting can signal a medical emergency. Fainting shouldn’t be treated as a minor occurrence unless there is a certainty of no serious underlying cause.
Depending on the cause of the fainting spell, some or all of these impairments may occur before or during the episode:
If these impairments appear, it is important to lie or sit down. The affected individual should attempt to put their head between their legs. This is done as an attempt to restore adequate blood flow to the brain. If the impairments occur in warm or hot weather, attempts should be made to move the individual to a cooler location.
A fainting episode may be sudden, or its symptoms may occur gradually. Medical alerts can be beneficial, as they allow an individual to have access to medical services as soon as they begin to feel dizziness, blurred vision or other symptoms. After a fainting spell has occurred, an individual can have immediate access to medical services in the event of an injury resulting from the fall. These alert systems not only help patients maintain a degree of security, but can also give them peace of mind that they can get the help they need when they need it.
Fainting symptoms include:
Many people who experience fainting spells may opt not to receive medical alert services. To reduce feelings of discomfort, individuals may choose to maintain safety and security in other ways.
Fainting can be caused by variety of reasons, from dehydration to standing too fast. If one is experiencing fainting incidents, it could also be an indication of a serious underlying medical issue.Fortunately, medical alerts allow those who faint to have easy access to emergency personnel. Medical alert systems allow medical history and medications to be readily accessible to medical personnel.
Also, if an individual has diabetes, low blood glucose or another condition that increases the risk of fainting, medical alerts can provide you with additional reassurance that help will be there in the case of an emergency.