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Fainting ‘Could Be Hereditary' Plus What To If You Feel Faint (PICTURES)

A recent study has suggested that fainting could be in our genetic make-up, after a link was found between fainting episodes and identical twins.

The research, led by the University of Melbourne, published in Neurology, found that identical twins were twice as likely to suffer from fainting than non-identical twins.

Is fainting hereditary?

According to the Telegraph, lead study author, Dr Samuel Berkovic said that fainting might not be triggered just by environmental factors, such as dehydration, low blood pressure or heat exhaustion, but by genetic components too.

Scroll down to find out what to do if you feel faint (PICTURES)

Researchers studied 51 sets of identical and non-identical twins, with at least one of whom had a history of fainting.

Fainting is a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness that usually results in a fall. Health experts often use the term ‘syncope’ when referring to fainting because it distinguishes fainting from other causes of temporary unconsciousness, such as seizures (fits) or concussion.

The study found that not only were identical twins both predisposed to fainting, they were also more prone to collapsing from the sight of blood or following a shock, compared to non-identical twins.

According to NHS Choices, fainting is very common. Around one in 100 children faint as a result of a fear or pain at least once in their lifetime and by 40 years of age, 95 out of 100 people would have fainted at least once.

In 2008 to 2009, nearly 120,000 people in England were admitted to hospital for fainting. Almost half of these were 75 years of age or over, showing that fainting becomes more common with age.

Just before losing consciousness, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Yawning
  • A sudden, clammy sweat
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Fast, deep breathing
  • Confusion
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
  • Ringing in your ears

If you experience any of these symptoms, take a look at the following tips on what to do if you feel faint.

What To Do If You Feel Faint

If fainting episodes are frequent, consult your GP, as it could be a sign of an underlying health problem, such as undiagnosed diabetes, low blood pressure or a neurological condition (such as Parkinson's).