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
  • Disorientation
  • 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:

  • Abnormal pupil size or nonreactivity to light
  • 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. Vasovagal attack is the most common cause of 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 age, but the atta... 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.

A vasovagal attack may also happen as the result of heat exposure as your body attempts to cool itself by circulati... 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.

The treatment approach for vasovagal attacks depends on treating the underlying cause of your vasovagal attacks. Treatment will include identifying ... Read more about vasovagal attacktreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 30, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 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