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Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: faint when laughing


 Toy - Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:43 pm

I do not know that this is a cardiology question but I didn't know where else to post it. I have a history of fainting spells. The cause has not been determined. I do take medication for hypertension. Also, at times I have an irregular heartbeat but it is nothing serious. Recently, I have started fainting when I laugh. What could be the cause of this? Should I be concerned?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:15 pm

User avatar Hi Toy,

There are a few cases in the literature describing an entity that is now well established called Laughter induced syncope (or fainting). The mechanism is thought to be that the laughing causes contraction of the diaphragm which subsequently impedes blood flow back to the heart. This is not particularly dangerous since the patient subsequently regains consciousness rapidly; however, it can be a definite annoyance and injuries can occur from passing out and falling.

I would recommend you see a neurologist to have this further evaluated. Occasionally, some physical therapy and chest wall strengthening can help. Also, laying flat can help prevent you from passing out if you feel it coming on.

Best wishes.

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