Unconsciousness is an obvious sign of fainting.
- Before fainting, the person may feel light-headed and shaky and experience blurred vision.
- The person may "see spots in front of their eyes."
- During this time, observers note paleness, dilated pupils, and sweating.
- While unconscious, the person may have low pulse rate (less than 60 beats/minute).
- The person should quickly regain consciousness.
- Many people have no warning signs before a fainting (syncopal) episode.
- Consciousness returns when the situation is over, usually very quickly.
- Prior to the fainting episode, the person may have noted a blood loss (black stools, heavy menstrual periods) or fluid loss (vomiting, diarrhea, fever).
- The person may have experienced light-headedness when sitting or standing.
- Observers may note paleness, sweating, or signs of dehydration (dry lips and tongue).
- The person may report palpitations (awareness of pounding, fast, or abnormal heartbeat), chest pain, or shortness of breath.
- Observers may note a weak, abnormal pulse, paleness, or sweating.
- Fainting often occurs without warning or following exertion.
- The person may have a headache, loss of balance, slurred speech, double vision, or vertigo (a feeling that the room is spinning).
- Observers note a strong pulse during the unconscious period and normal skin color.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014
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