Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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vaso vagal syncope

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From: janet lee


I have experienced vaso vagal syncopes since before it had such a fancy name. When I was a child it was labeled a 'fainting fit' by my doctor in England. My first episode was when I was seven years old. I am now fifty six and just had another syncope in FEB 2007 (possibly my twentieth episode to date) First syncope, age 7: My friends father had inadvertantly taken out his prosthetic eye and placed it in a glass of water, I could see inside his eye socket. I felt myself going dizzy,there was a ringing in my ears, I felt hot,experienced tunnel vision, then nothing... (I had fallen against my sister, who pushed me away and I fell flat on my face, but I remembered nothing of the fall and woke up on the couch). After I pass out the scenario is usually about the same; I remain unconcious for up to five minutes, I become rigid, with staring eyes, I moan and struggle, craning my head back, clenching my jaw and I remember nothing. When I finally regain conciousness it feels like a sickly electrical current is trickling through my brain, then almost immediately I realize what has happened and I ask for water. I am usually cold and clammy, my pulse is very weak and my breathing shallow. It takes me a long time to recover. The back of my brain hurts for days and sometimes my heart is irregular. My reasons for blacking out vary but usually shock,pain or fear are the underlying causes. ie.I don't black out without a reason. Having had several episodes I now recognize the warning signs and can get myself into a safer, closer to the ground position before fainting. Thirty years ago I had a syncope in front of a doctor after he gave me bad news...he then sent me to see a neurologist who diagnosed vaso motor syncope and ruled out epilepsy. Since then no follow up by doctors until my most recent episode last month. I saw a cardiologist today and he confirmed vaso vagal syncope. I am to wear a Holter moniter for a month and also do a cardio stress test. since I have fainted throughout my life I didn't realize the severity of it until my last syncope.It scared me. I think my heart stopped and then started to beat again.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007