Why you may faint

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By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Fainting is when someone becomes unconscious for a short time. It usually happens because the brain is not getting enough oxygen or because of a drop in the blood pressure.
Dr Pius Mwanja, of Lifelink Hospital, Ntinda, says after you lose consciousness and fall or lie down, more blood flows into the brain so after a few minutes you must be able to wake up again. The most common causes of fainting are usually signs of a more serious illness.

Symptoms
Feeling unsteady, dizzy, weak, blurred vision, confusion or nausea. Some people become aware that noises are fading away.
“A full recovery usually takes a few minutes. If there is no underlying medical condition causing you to faint, you may not need any treatment,” Dr Mwanja says. Fainting usually is not a cause for concern, but it is a symptom of a serious medical problem sometimes. If you have no previous history of fainting and you start fainting all of a sudden, you should talk to your doctor to check out the reason.

Causes
The cause of fainting is not clear but can be triggered by fear, panic or shock, severe pain, a sudden drop in blood pressure, low blood sugar due to diabetes, going too long without eating, dehydration, standing in one position for too long, allergies and heart or lung diseases, among others.
Prevention
Dr Mwanja says if you often faint, learn the causes and avoid those triggers. Always get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position. If you feel faint at the sight of blood tell your doctor so he can take certain provisions to prevent you from fainting. And do not skip meals.
When you feel dizzy and weak, sit and put your head between your knees to help get blood to your brain, or lie down to avoid injury due to falling. Do not stand up until you feel better.

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