Syncope Specialist

Syncope is how medical professionals refer to fainting, which can sometimes be a symptom of heart problems. If you’ve had syncope episodes and don’t know why, Prime Heart and Vascular’s experienced cardiovascular specialists can help. Find out what’s causing your loss of consciousness and get the treatment you need by contacting one of the Prime Heart and Vascular offices.

Syncope is a medical term doctors use to describe fainting or a temporary loss of consciousness. You might experience nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and break out in a sweat at the same time.

In some cases, syncope occurs for reasons such as:

  • Overheating
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive sweating
  • Exhaustion

Getting up too quickly after sitting or lying down for some time may cause an attack of syncope if the blood has gone to your legs. Another possible cause is neurally mediated syncope (NMS), which occurs when your blood pressure and heart rate malfunction.

NMS is due to a problem in your nervous system and typically happens because of a trigger like pain or strong emotions. It’s not usually a problem that you need to worry about, and the symptoms should disappear after resting.

Syncope can sometimes be a symptom of a heart problem. If you’re also experiencing palpitations, arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat), or you faint when exercising, you should seek medical advice.

What heart disorders feature syncope as a symptom?

Some of the more common heart and circulatory disorders for which syncope may be a symptom include:

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • Bradycardia (slow heartbeat)
  • Atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries)
  • Severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aorta)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
  • Heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation (a type of arrhythmia)

If you experience syncope, it’s important to determine why, as some causes may be potentially life-threatening.

How is syncope diagnosed?

Your provider diagnoses syncope after reviewing your medical and family history, discussing your symptoms with you, and performing a routine exam. They listen to your heart and measure your blood pressure, and may draw some blood for testing.

Other diagnostic tests you might need include:

An EKG (electrocardiogram)

An EKG records the electrical activity in your heart that makes it beat. 

Stress testing 

If there aren’t any apparent abnormalities during your in-office EKG, you might need to undergo stress testing to raise your heartbeat. To achieve this, you run on a treadmill while the EKG is recording, or if you can’t exercise, take medication to simulate the effect.


An echocardiogram is an ultrasound that creates images of your heart and its structures.

Holter or event monitoring

During these tests, you wear an EKG device home that records continually or that you activate when you’re experiencing symptoms.

Tilt-table test

A tilt-table lifts your body up and down at various speeds, affecting the way blood flows. Patients with NMS typically faint during a tilt-table test but come round quickly.

Once they know the cause of your syncope, your provider can develop a suitable treatment program for you.

If you’ve lost consciousness recently and want to know what’s causing it, call Prime Heart and Vascular today or book an appointment online.