Vagal discomfort results from a drop in blood pressure. It is relatively common and usually not serious. What are its symptoms? Sudden fatigue? Loss of consciousness? Its causes? How long does it last? How to avoid it and what is the background treatment?
vagal discomfort results from the pressure dropcaused by excessive stimulation of the vagus nerve. It can cause a loss of consciousness of a few seconds. It is frequent and generally not serious. The fatigue is one of the causes of vagal discomfort. Nevertheless, it must be monitored, especially if it occurs repeat. What are the causes vagal discomfort? What are symptoms to recognize it? What to do to avoid it ? What is the treatment background of vagal discomfort?
Definition: what is vagal discomfort?
A vagal discomfort (or vagal shock) is a discomfort that is characterized by loss of consciousness, usually a few seconds. It results from a sudden drop in blood pressure (blood pressure), associated with a slow heart rate, caused by an imbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Blood flow then becomes too low to adequately irrigate the brain. Lack of oxygen leads to temporary loss of consciousness.
What are the possible causes of vagal discomfort?
Vagal discomfort can occur in various contexts:
- strong emotion,
- sharp pain,
- severe tiredness,
- heavy physical exertion,
- too hot and confined atmosphere
- medication (hypotensives, vasodilators, diuretics, hypnotics, etc.)
- wake, when you move too quickly from a prolonged lying position to standing: blood pressure then drops suddenly, because the body has not had time to adapt. If the feeling may seem similar, it is not a vagal discomfort: we then speak oforthostatic hypotension.
What are the symptoms of vagal discomfort?
The person affected by vagal discomfort suddenly presents:
- muscle weakness,
- profuse sweating
- fainting and loss of consciousness
- then, headaches and digestive disorders.
Fainting is usually preceded by:
- visual disturbances (blurred vision, cloudiness, etc.)
What to do in case of vagal discomfort?
As soon as easily recognizable warning signs appear, it is recommended to:
- lie down or sit to avoid falling,
- of elevate the legsto promote blood return to the heart
- ofwait 5 to 10 minutes before getting up slowly
“In the event of fainting, the person always comes to himself spontaneously and quickly“, specifies Dr. Handschuh. If the person remains unconscious for more than 5 minutes, and that his pulse is weak, he must be positioned in lateral safety position (PLS), then contact the emergency services (the 15 or 112), because the fall may have caused trauma. While waiting for help, it is advisable to lie the person down in a quiet place and reassure them. We can also loosen his clothes to help him breathe better.
Lay the person down in a quiet place and reassure them
Treatment: how to treat vagal discomfort?
Mostly benign and anecdotal, vagal discomfort does not require substantive medical treatment. On the other hand, if it is repeated often or if it occurs outside the contexts mentioned above, a medical consultation (treating physician) is necessary to eliminate any other cause of these symptoms. He may prescribe certain tests (blood test, electrocardiogram) to check for any underlying issues.
How long does it take to recover from vagal discomfort?
This varies from person to person. But generally, the discomfort lasts between a few seconds and 3 minutesand it needs between 5 and 10 minutes before being able to get up slowly.
As soon as the first symptoms appear, it is possible to avoid vagal discomfort by:
- sitting or lying down in a quiet place
- raising her legs if possible with a cushion or against a wall
- clasping hands tightly togetherto bring blood to the top of the skull
What not to do in case of vagal discomfort?
- Make the person drink or give sugarespecially if the person is unconscious because of the risk of misdirection
- Giving small slaps to wake up the person
- maintain the open mouth of the person, especially if they are having seizures.
Thanks to Doctor Richard Handschuh, general practitioner.