www.whyville.net Feb 26, 2012 Weekly Issue

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The Fainting Spell

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Once when I was eight, I fainted in the shower. When I told my friends that I had fainted, they told me they never experienced fainting. So I decided to write this article so the people who don't know how fainting works would have a pretty good idea.

I had been in the shower a long time, singing under the shower head. The water had gone really hot and I didn't even notice the fog all around me. I was in the shower for maybe half an hour in the hot and humid bathroom. When I was done showering, I got out of the shower and put on my bath robe. But as I was wringing out my hair, I felt the back of my head go fuzzy and my eyesight blurred. I felt so sleepy and ready to fall flat on my face. And I did. A moment later, my head crashed onto the cold tiled floor and my body was crammed on the small bathroom floor, blocking the door.

Hearing the thud, my mom thought my brother that fallen upstairs in his room. But when she knocked on the bathroom door and got no answer from me, she opened the door and found me unconscious on the floor. She couldn't open the door because my body was blocking the opening, but she managed to stick her hands inside and pull me away from the door enough to open it and carry me off the floor.

She held me in her arms and took me to the kitchen sink, throwing cold water on my face and calling my name. I hadn't even realized that I had been knocked out. I heard my name being called and felt my lip and forehead burn in pain. I woke up like I would wake up from a long night's sleep. I found myself in my mom's arms with my face wet. My mom explained that I had fainted and told me that I had fallen on my mouth, split my lip open and bruised my forehead.

My experience fainting wasn't as bad as other people's and for that, I am lucky. But I was still very curious to learn about fainting and why it happens.

Why Do We Faint?

Fainting is common in teenagers. We faint because there might be changes in the nervous system and circulatory system may cause a drop in the amount of blood heading toward the brain. When that blood supply decreases, the person loses consciousness. When the person lays down, the head is at the same level as the heart, bringing back the blood to the brain. We might faint if we get too hot or are in a crowded area. People faint through dehydration - if their body doesn't get enough fluids, if they work out too much, hunger and exhaustion.

Sometimes emotions can trigger fainting spells. Shock, fright, pain, or anxiety are some emotions that cause us to faint. Also, people who hyperventilate will faint over anxiety and the decrease of carbon dioxide in their blood. An obvious trigger to fainting is drug use, so people who inhale illegal drugs will faint from problems with their heartbeat. Finally, people might faint because of a sickness, such as bulimia, anorexia, low blood sugar or even just pregnancy.

Can You Prevent Fainting?

If your vision changes, your heartbeat increases, you want to throw up, and you are starting to sweat a lot, you are probably going to faint.

To prevent fainting, you can:

1) Lie down. This was your blood circulates to your brain.
2)Lower your head between your knees. This way is not as good as lying down, but it also helps blood circulate to your brain.
3)Do not let yourself dehydrate. Drink enough fluids, especially if you are sweating.
4)Keep blood circulating no matter what. Move your legs, cross them, tense them, just do anything to keep blood moving around your body.

If you experience heart pains, shortness of breath, or seizures, you should really talk to your doctor.

Author's Note: Sources: www.kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/health_basics/fainting.html


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