The Faint & Fall Clinic was established as a one-stop resource for patients who want to pinpoint a cause for their faint or fall as soon as possible. The only clinic of its kind, it brings together a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals who specialize in faints and falls to quickly diagnose the cause of your problem.
If you’ve had an episode of unexplained fainting or falling, you might be concerned that it could happen again at any moment. There are many possible reasons for fainting and falling, including cardiac conditions, neurological causes, metabolic disorders, and even stress. With so many potential causes, the majority of people who faint or fall end up seeing multiple doctors over an extended period of time before a diagnosis can be made. Unfortunately, even with the current evaluation process, a high percentage of faints and falls still go unexplained because it can be difficult to address all the possible causes.
Have You Experienced a Faint or Fall?
Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness, usually leading to a fall. Sometimes referred to as a dizzy spell, blacking out, or passing out, fainting is a common problem that may cause anxiety, injury, or the need for medical treatment. Fainting is also the sixth leading cause of hospitalization for people older than 65 years. Falls are common, too, especially among older adults. Sometimes a fall is actually a faint in disguise because you don’t even remember losing consciousness, particularly in the absence of witnesses.
Both faints and falls can cause significant injury, disability, or worse. Fainting causes approximately 10 percent of falls in older adults. People who have a history of falling are likely to fall again in the next year, and falls account for two-thirds of deaths from unintentional injuries. So, if you’ve experienced a faint or fall, it’s important for you to seek medical attention.
What To Expect From Your Visit
Seeing multiple physicians over an extended period of time can cause anxiety, unnecessary tests, and risks of injury or hospitalization while you wait for proper treatment. At the Faint & Fall Clinic, you can see the right doctor and get all of the right tests in one place. If you request an appointment online, you will be contacted within 24–48 hours in order to schedule an appointment with a doctor who is an expert in evaluating faints and falls. You can also schedule the appointment via phone. The specialists you need to see will come to you at the clinic, rather than you visiting multiple locations. These specialists include cardiologists, geriatricians, and neurologists, who will all be available to provide you with the comprehensive evaluation you deserve.
The faint and fall specialists use recommended guidelines to order only the most appropriate tests for you, resulting in fewer unnecessary procedures, a much shorter time to diagnosis, and increased peace of mind. In addition, all the tests you need will be performed within 24 hours, reducing delays in diagnosis and the number of future doctors’ visits.
Our comprehensive approach to the evaluation and treatment of faint and fall helps to reduce your risk of a faint- or fall-related injury and prevent expensive inpatient hospital stays.
1. How long will I need to wait for an appointment at the Faint & Fall Clinic?
You will be seen within 24–48 hours of a referral to the clinic.
2. Why is it important to be seen by a specialist for an episode of fainting or falling?
There are many possible reasons for both fainting and falling. At our clinic, you will be seen by a faint and fall specialist who will ensure that all the possible causes of your faint or fall are addressed in as little time as possible. The specialists you need to see will come to you, and you will only undergo the most appropriate tests or procedures needed to diagnose or treat the cause of your faint or fall.
3. Does my health plan, Medicare or Medicaid cover care at the clinic?
Most health plans cover the care we provide. However, we recommend you check with your health plan administrator for details of your coverage.
Older Adults: Preventing Falls
Every year, millions of adults fall, leading to injuries and emergency room visits. Many of these falls and injuries can be prevented. Most all falls happen at home. Taking certain safety measures can prevent many falls.
Facts about falls
Here are some facts about older adults and falls:
Older adults fall because of tripping.
Falls are the most common cause of injury visits to the ER for older adults.
Falls cause more open wounds, fractures, and brain injuries than any other cause.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in people older than 65.
Reducing the risk of falling
As you age, your risk of falling becomes greater. This is because of changes in vision and balance, along with other medical and physical conditions. Most people also lose bone density as they age, so the risk of broken bones from falls is a greater concern. Older adults can take steps to lower the risk of falling. Here are ideas:
Have your vision and hearing checked regularly.
Know the side effects of medicines. Some may lead to loss of balance and coordination.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Wear rubber-soled and low-heeled shoes that fit properly and support your feet. Don’t wear loose-fitting slippers that could cause you to trip.
Be careful on wet or icy sidewalks.
Exercise regularly to stay flexible and keep your bones strong.
Preventing falls at home
Take safety measures at home to reduce your risk of falling as you get older. Take these steps:
Remove small rugs or use double-sided tape under small rugs to prevent slipping.
Keep clutter to a minimum. Remove things from walking areas that you could trip over.
Keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable level. This will keep you from becoming too dizzy from extreme cold or heat.
Keep items used often within reach, so you don't have to rely on a step stool.
Install handle bars next to toilets and bathtubs or showers.
Use nonslip mats in bathtubs and showers.
Improve the lighting in your home.
Remove electrical cords from the floor in walking areas.
Install handrails and lights on all staircases.
Balance and falls in older adults
Having good balance means you’re able to control your body’s position. Many things can cause problems with balance.
Some medicines can cause problems with balance. For example, medicines that lower blood pressure can make you feel dizzy. Talk with your healthcare provider if you notice a balance problem while taking a medicine. He or she may be able to prescribe a smaller dose or change your medicine.
A balance disorder is a problem of the inner ear. It can make you feel unsteady or like you’re moving or spinning. Common balance disorders include:
Vertigo. This creates the feeling that you or the things around you are spinning.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This is a condition that makes you have a brief, intense feeling of vertigo when you move your head. This can happen when rolling over in bed or looking up.
Labyrinthitis. This is an infection or inflammation of the inner ear that causes dizziness.
Ménière’s disease. This is a disorder that causes a person to have vertigo. You may also have hearing loss that comes and goes, a ringing or roaring in your ears, or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
See your healthcare provider if you:
Feel as if the room is spinning around you
Feel as if you’re moving when standing still
Lose your balance
What Do You Know About Balance Disorders?
Although millions of Americans have balance disorders, they can be difficult to diagnose. That's because dizziness--a common symptom of these disorders--is such a broad term.