Also known as fainting or blacking out, syncope is a brief loss of consciousness that is often caused when there is not enough blood flow to the brain. Many people experience syncope every once in a while and it is usually nothing to be worried about. However, for those who are fainting or feeling faint quite frequently, you might be experiencing what is known as cardiac syncope — it could be a symptom of an underlying, more serious heart condition.
If you think you may be experiencing cardiac syncope, get in touch with Dr Ajita Kanthan. As a cardiac pioneer in Sydney and the cardiologist behind the first radiation-free transvenous pacemaker implant in Australia, he's highly qualified to diagnose and treat any underlying cardiac conditions that could be causing your cardiac syncope.
What is cardiac syncope?
Cardiac syncope is a “heart blackout” or fainting caused by a heart problem. When the heart isn’t working properly, the brain will not receive enough oxygen, which is carried around the body by the blood. When this happens you may become lightheaded, feel nauseous, see black spots, have trouble hearing or feel weak and sweaty before actually losing consciousness. Specific signs of cardiac syncope to look out for include chest pain or heart palpitations before fainting, fainting symptoms when exercising and fainting whilst lying down.
What causes cardiac syncope?
There are various causes of cardiac syncope which include:
Arrhythmia — Whether your heart is beating too quickly or too slowly, an abnormal heart rhythm can mean not enough oxygenated blood is circulating to the brain and cause cardiac syncope.
Aortic valve stenosis — A narrow valve between the heart and the aorta can be genetic or develop with age and cause a lack of oxygen to the brain and, in turn, cardiac syncope.
What are the treatment options for cardiac syncope?
While the treatment for feeling faint is usually to avoid known triggers and stay sufficiently hydrated, there are various medical treatment options for cardiac syncope which depend largely on the underlying heart condition. For example:
Cardiac ablation — Also called catheter ablation or radiofrequency ablation, energy is used to make small scars in the heart tissue to stop unusual electrical signals and irregular heartbeats.
Pacemakers — By inserting a device, called a pacemaker, in the chest, regular electrical impulses are delivered to the heart to normalise slow heartbeat.
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) — An ICD is a small device that is implanted into the chest to deliver electrical pulses to the heart to reset a dangerously rapid heartbeat that may cause cardiac syncope.
What cardiac syncope treatment options does Dr Ajita Kanthan offer in Sydney?
The right treatment for you will depend completely on your unique condition and requirements. Book an appointment with Dr Ajita Kanthan today for an expert diagnosis and tailored treatment plan for your cardiac syncope.