What are the symptoms of a vasovagal attack?

A vasovagal attack causes a rapid drop in blood pressure and heart rate, which may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Common symptoms of a vasovagal attack

A vasovagal attack is associated with a number of common symptoms related to a lack of blood flow to the brain. Examples include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Cold skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting, change in level of consciousness, or lethargy
  • Headache
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Pale skin or pallor
  • Pins-and-needles (prickling) sensation
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Sweating

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

Vasovagal attacks by themselves are not serious; however, fainting may be caused by a serious or life-threatening condition. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Injury from a fainting episode
  • Pale or blue lips (cyanosis)
  • Severe difficulty breathing

What is a vasovagal attack?

A vasovagal attack is a disorder that causes a rapid drop in heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in decreased blood flow to the brain and fainting. The disorder is also referred to as neurocardiogenic syncope. A vasovagal attack is the most common cause of fainting. A vasovagal attack may occur in a person of any... Read more about vasovagal attackintroduction


What causes a vasovagal attack?

A vasovagal attack is caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure and heart rate, resulting in a decrease in blood flow to the brain. Standing for a prolonged period of time, situations that induce panic or fear, and strenuous exercise can also cause a vasovagal attack.... Read more about vasovagal attackcauses


How are vasovagal attacks treated?

Treatment for vasovagal attacks begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have vasovagal attacks, your health care provider will ask you questions and may ask you to undergo diagnostic tests.... Read more about vasovagal attacktreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation