×

If You're Ever Feeling Lightheaded, Do This Right Away to Prevent Fainting

Getty Images

Fainting is no joke. Every year, it sends four million people to the ER, according to the Wall Street Journal, especially if they fall after blacking out. That light-headed feeling you get comes about when there's a drop in blood flow and oxygen to your brain--and there are a number of reasons that could happen. You could be suffering from shock, from the sight of blood, say, or hearing bad news; your blood sugar levels could have dropped from not eating or drinking for a few hours; or your blood pressure could have dropped because you stood up too quickly (common among people over 65).

If you're feeling dizzy, try this trick, courtesy of a new study: sniff or gasp, with your mouth closed, twice. The quick intake of breath can send oxygen rushing to your brain, which relieves that light-headed feeling. You can also try raising your blood pressure by crossing your legs tightly or making fists with your hands, a technique known as applying counter-pressure.

via EurekAlert!