Can panic attacks cause fainting? I have to sadly admit that they actually do cause fainting. You have to understand that this event can in fact easily be avoided through proper breathing techniques. Panic attacks and misunderstanding are usually observed together but that does not mean they are actually inseparable.
In order for you to understand the tips on how to avoid faining during your panic attacks, it may be best to understand first what happens to your body during those times. First and foremost, your body is governed by a complicated and highly sophisticated sense of balance. If anything in your body changes, most especially its pH levels, it can cause a massive destruction to how your system works.
Now, there are two major ways to alter the pH level of your body – through your metabolic or respiratory system. Let us focus on the latter as this is the one that plays a major role during an attack. Oxygen is generally basic while carbon dioxide is acidic; when you breathe normally, the exchange of these two chemicals will maintain the pH levels of your system.
Remember that during a panic attack, people tend to hyperventilate. Because of that, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow. As a result, you can not take in as much oxygen as you should and can not release necessary carbon dioxide. Consequently, these abnormal levels of chemicals in the body lead to imbalances in the pH levels.
That imbalance leads to loss of consciousness, that and abnormally low levels of oxygen in the brain. Fainting is not a very big issue but if you bump your head in the process, the problem comes in. Moreover, prolonged low levels of oxygen in the brain may lead to permanent damage. There is no need to worry because because there are a lot of things that you can do to prevent this from happening.
One, you have to completely focus and stay on top of your game during your attack. Go to the open air where there is fresh and bountiful supply of oxygen. Once you are there control your breathing with a brown bag. This is proven to stabilize your breathing and it is done even in hospitals.
One other thing you can perform is the pursed lip breathing. All you need to do is to breathe very deeply through your nose, and exhale gradually through your pursed (semi-close) lips. This way, you can maximize your lung expansion and effectively take in enough oxygen and release the right amounts of carbon dioxide. This may sound easy but it becomes a little challenging while you are in an attack, remember to keep your focus so that you avoid losing consciousness.
So the answer to your question – can panic attacks cause fainting? – is yes! However, there is no need to trouble yourself about this too much as I have already lined out ways for you to avoid this from happening. Just remember the two most important things you need to have: focus and presence of mind.