There are many different causes of syncope, some common and some rare. Most cases of syncope are due to the common faint. Fainting is caused by a short-term reduction in blood pressure to your brain.

Syncope is caused by a problem with the heart or by a problem in the regulation of blood pressure.

Click on the condition and find out further information on cause, management and treatment.



Syncope (sin-co-pee), which is the medical term for fainting, is a brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden lack of blood supply to the brain. It is a temporary condition that may be associated with a drop in blood pressure, a reduction in heart rate or changes in blood volume. Read more >>


Reflex Syncope

The most common type of syncope – known as Reflex Syncope – is caused by a temporary disruption in the autonomic nervous system, which regulates blood pressure and heart rate. Read more >>

Reflex Anoxic Seizures (also known as Syncope in the Young)

Reflex Anoxic Seizures (RAS) is the term used for a particular fit which is neither epileptic nor due to cyanotic breath-holding, but which rather results from a brief stoppage of the heart through excessive activity of the vagus nerve. Read more >>

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a condition where patients experience an increase in heart rate (tachycardia) upon standing up.  Read more >>

Syncope in older adults

As we get older, the prevalence of syncope increases as our bodies are less able to deal with falls in blood pressure as the body’s mechanisms slow over the years. Syncope is also more difficult to diagnose in older people because there are often multiple causes.  Read more >>


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