What are my treatment options?

Your treatment options will depend on what is causing your syncope and the results of your evaluation and testing. The goal of treatment is to keep you from having episodes of syncope.

Treatment options include:

  • Taking medications or making changes to medications you already take.
  • Wearing support garments or compression stockings to improve blood circulation.
  • Making changes to your diet. Your doctor may suggest that you eat small, frequent meals; eat more salt (sodium); drink more fluids, increase the amount of potassium in your diet; and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Being extra cautious when you stand up.
  • Elevating the head of your bed while sleeping. You can do this by using extra pillows or by placing risers under the legs of the head of the bed.
  • Avoiding or changing the situations or “triggers” that cause a syncope episode.
  • Biofeedback training to control a fast heartbeat. You can get more information or schedule an appointment for an evaluation with a biofeedback specialist by calling the Cleveland Clinic Department of Psychology at 216.444.6115 or 800.223.2273 ext. 46115.
  • Treatment for structural heart disease.
  • Implanting a pacemaker to keep your heart rate regular (only needed for patients with certain medical conditions).
  • An implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). This device constantly monitors your heart rate and rhythm and corrects a fast, abnormal rhythm (only needed for patients with certain medical conditions).

Your doctor and other members of your healthcare team will develop a treatment plan that is right for you and talk to you about your treatment options.

If you are diagnosed with syncope, check your state laws. Some states require drivers with syncope to contact the license bureau.

How will syncope affect my life?

With the proper diagnosis and treatment, syncope can be managed and controlled. If you have had an episode of syncope, there is about a 30% chance you will have another episode. Your risk of another episode and how the condition affects you depends on several factors, including the cause and your age, gender and other medical problems you have. If you have questions about your risks, please talk to your doctor.

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