Heat Syncope

Heat Syncope- Also called as fainting or orthostatic dizziness this is a medical condition in which an individual has a fainting episode due to strenuous activities in a hot environment. This condition is usually associated with inadequate fluid supplementation or a condition called as dehydration.

Heat Syncope

What Is Heat Syncope?

Heat Syncope or Fainting is a type of heat illness which is more often than not caused due to physical activity in hot conditions. This condition is caused when the blood vessels in the body dilate in order to keep the body cool and as a result blood flow to the brain is reduced causing fainting. Dehydration contributes in a big way in causing Heat Syncope.

What Are The Causes Of Heat Syncope?

Heat Syncope as stated is caused due to excessive dilation of the blood vessels in order to cool the body in a hot environment causing reduced blood flow to the brain. Apart from this, Heat Syncope can also be caused as a result of blood collecting in the legs if an individual is standing for an extended period of time in the hot sun or as a result of doing rigorous physical activity for an extended amount of time out in the sun. The risk for developing magnifies if the individual has not had proper fluid intake before going out in the sun or has not adjusted to the hot climatic condition. The recovery period from Heat Syncope is rather fast after the affected individual is shifted to a cooler place. Sometimes, Heat Syncope is caused as a result of some type of metabolic disorder or a cardiac issue which may require further investigation.

What Are The Symptoms Of Heat Syncope?

Some Of The Symptoms Of Heat Syncope Are:

  • Fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Elevated pulse
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How Is Heat Syncope Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose Heat Syncope, during the physical examination the treating physician will check the blood pressure which will be low and pulse rate which will be elevated. There will be observation of profuse sweating. While taking the history, the treating physician will inquire whether the symptoms started during a physical activity and whether the outside temperature was hot which will be true in cases of Heat Syncope.

What Are Treatments For Heat Syncope?

Heat Syncope basically does not require any aggressive treatment. Simple basic steps as mentioned below can be followed to treat Heat Syncope:

  • Lie down at a cool place, preferably in an air conditioned area.
  • Keep the feet elevated.
  • Drink fluids rich in electrolytes to maintain electrolyte balance.
  • Avoid strenuous activities in hot weather.

How To Prevent Heat Syncope?

Some Measures Which Can Be Taken To Prevent Heat Syncope Are:

  • Try and avoid extremely hot weather condition especially if not appropriately acclimatized.
  • If affected with Heat Syncope, immediately move to a cooler place so that the body cools down.
  • Try and avoid alcoholic beverages in hot weather.
  • Maintain adequate intake of fluids in hot weather.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 2, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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