Psychogenic blackouts occur most often in young adults. It can be difficult to tell the causes of the blackout apart. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness that happens when the brain does not receive enough oxygen. Faint, black out, swoon, pass out. UK research has shown that approximately 30% of adults and up to 40% of children diagnosed with epilepsy in the UK do not have the condition. See additional information. +44 (0)1789 867 503 | Fainting, also called syncope (pronounced SIN-ko-pee), is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain. The more quickly alcohol enters the bloodstream, the more likely a person is to black out. This iPad screen goes black just happens all of a sudden, and without any apparent reason at all. The consequences may be embarrassing, or they could be dangerous. If the person can’t remember anything, that’s a complete or total blackout. – Syncope: a sudden lack of blood supply to the brain. If you usually stop after a drink or two, then you’ve probably never had an alcohol-related blackout. Your answers provide a path to better understanding of the common reasons for losing consciousness. For example, you could become a victim of a violent crime. But the good news is treatment can help. The person who has fainted doesn't know that they have passed out. Many syncopal attacks require only explanation and reassurance from a GP or trained nurse regarding the likely absence of anything being seriously wrong. ©1996-2020 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. While both of these sound scary, in reality most episodes of blacking out are not related to life threatening health problems. They may be very difficult to diagnose. Many people, including doctors, assume that blackouts are due to epileptic seizures, but much more commonly they are due to syncope (pronounced sin-co-pee) – a type of blackout which is caused by a problem in the regulation of blood pressure or sometimes with the heart. If you or someone you know blacks out often while drinking, get help. If the memories never formed in the first place, there’s no way to get them back. It doesn’t erase memories formed before intoxication. It's frightening when it comes out of the blue, more so when it happens again and again. But blackouts can be very dangerous. People who binge drink -- consuming four to five drinks in about two hours -- are more likely to have alcohol-related blackouts. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 2 Nov 2020), Cerner Multum™ (updated 2 Nov 2020), ASHP (updated 23 Oct 2020) and others. It is not a diagnostic tool or a substitute for evaluation by a health professional. Use of this content is subject to specific Terms of Use & Medical Disclaimers. Consultation with a specialist will be necessary, though, if the cause of the syncope remains uncertain or if there are particularly concerning symptoms or there is a family history of a heart condition. Treatment for fainting depends on the cause. Subscribe to newsletters for the latest medication news, alerts, new drug approvals and more. Some of those people will faint again within the next three years. Consuming excessive alcohol can lead to gaps in memory. Available for Android and iOS devices. ATTENTION: We are here for you during this COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to provide support.