Fainting | Prevention

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What should I do if I think I'm going to faint?

Before fainting, you may feel lightheaded, dizzy, like the room is spinning, sick to your stomach. You may also have blurry vision or a hard time hearing. If you feel like you're going to faint, lie down. If you can't lie down, sit and bend forward with your head between your knees. This helps get the blood flowing to your brain. Wait until you feel better before trying to stand up. When you stand up, do so slowly.

Should I see my doctor if I faint?

You probably don't need to go to your doctor if you have only fainted one time and you are in otherwise good health. Fainting is common and usually not serious. However, if you have serious health problems, especially heart-related problems, high blood pressure or diabetes, you probably should see your doctor. See your doctor if you faint and also have any of these symptoms or conditions:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Chest pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden onset (no warning signs)
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Trouble talking
  • Taking longer than a few seconds to regain consciousness
  • Fainting when you turn your head to the side
  • Fainting more than once in a month

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 09/00

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