Infographic: Do you feel faint when you get a needle?
Dizziness and fainting are caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate. That sudden drop is called a vasovagal response.
When your blood pressure and heart rate drop due to a stressful trigger (like a needle!) this is called vasovagal syncope.
Symptoms of vasovgal syncope may include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Tunnel-vision or blurred vision
- Cold, clammy sweat
Did you know? Fainting is more common in people who have needle fears, but it’s not always the case. Fear doesn’t necessarily lead to fainting, and fainting is not necessarily linked to fear.
Ways to prevent dizziness and fainting
Ask a medical professional if you can lie down during your appointment to help prevent fainting.
Try a muscle tension technique
- Tense your leg and stomach muscles for 15 seconds. This will increase your blood pressure, which can help counteract the vasovagal response.
- Release the tension for 20 seconds (but don’t fully relax just yet!).
- Repeat until the needle is over, or until you no longer feel faint.
Learn more about Dealing with needle pain and fear
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