Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

frustrated Passing out while laughing

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 43 Replies
  • Posted By: KELLYROSE70
  • March 12, 2007
  • 04:45 AM

Hello, I have been passing out when I laugh for almost 3 years now. You know how if you get laughing hard and can't breath? Well I tell myself I have to stop laughing or I will pass out. I can now feel it comming on and sometimes can stop it. Other times more often now I am not able to control it. Sometimes I pass out and shake for a minute or 2 before comming to other times more often I am sitting in a chair and lean back and a minute or 2 later I come to. When I come to I am disoriented and my whole body tingles as if it has been asleep even my tongue. I went to the emergency room a year ago. They sent me home with a heart monitor and told me to follow up with my doctor. I had recently moved and had a new doctor. I scheduled an appointment and the nurse practioner said my results of the heart monitor showed that my heart rate goes above 180 when active and occasionally goes below 40 when sleeping. I am also over weight so he said that he thinks I should lose weight and as far as the fainting goes he said I should just warn people I sit near that I may faint if laughing. I felt stupid and humiliated. So I have just been dealing with it. It seems to be getting a little worse. I remember the emergency room doctor being a little concerned and had said my regular doctor may want to set me up with a cardiologist. I don't have the nerve to go back and ask my regular doctor. So I am not sure what to do. Has anyone ever heard of passing out while laughing?? Is there a reason or a cure. It is not fun going through life trying not to laugh. I have 2 kids who are a riot and a fun loving happy funny family. I love to be the life of the party and make people laugh. But not passing out so they can laugh.. thats a little extreme..lol.. Well any suggestions would be greatly appreciated... Thanks.. Kelly

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  • So you never actually did anything to stop it, it just stopped happening. Well that would be great. I've had it for almost 2 1/2 years now. Ever since I had my first child. So I don't know what the heck happened internally but something.I've had many test done and everything comes back normal. I am having an ultrasound done tomorrow because I want to see all my organs and that everything is back in its place since having children. I will keep looking until it stops happening because it is VERY frustrating.Please if anyone finds out anything at all about what causes it and how to stop it let us all know. Thanks, Michellewww.selfesteem-building.com
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks LiamI have EXACTLY the same symptoms as you do, buzzing and all. I am told it is called Seinfeld syncope and that there is nothing I can do about it. I am not satisfied though.Did you come up with anything from your doctor?DotunKellyRose,First please allow me to bring a shred of hope to you. You are not alone, I also pass out whille laughing. My symptomology is an extremely intense, but rather silent in perspective, laughter causing me to "Lose my breath". Just as the syncopal episode approaches, I will have a distintive buzz ian rush in my head. If I can stop the laughter at that point to episode subsides. If not I will experience a I do not yet have an answer, but I see where a combination of vasovegal stimulation and respiratory compromise are both causative factors.Good luck and if anyone does acchieve resolution in your case, please post what you find out...as will I.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi everyone! Last night my husband and I met up with my Dad, his wife, and my brother for dinner at a sports bar. My Dad, husband, and brother were enjoying some beers and tacos and decided to go play shuffle board. My brother said something funny and made my dad laugh. He was laughing a great big deep laugh and then started coughing...in a matter of seconds his eyes got real wide, he looked over at my brother, who could tell something was wrong, and my Dad began to keel over. Luckily my brother caught him and lowered him down to the ground. My husband ran over to them and said my Dad's eyes were blood shot and he was not responsive. They called my name and I looked across the room, seeing my brother's back crouched next to a body on the ground. My heart stopped beating and I, 30 weeks pregnant, ran over to them. I saw my Dad lying on the ground with this catatonic look on his face. i asked my husband "is he breathing?" and my husband replied "No!" and then he instructed me to call 911. I sprinted back to my purse, grabbed my phone and called 911. By this time my Dad had "come to" and they had gotten him back up but his face was DARK PURPLE. The scariest color to see on someone's body. They sat him down and his color returned, then he turned pale and clammy. The paramedics came, took his vitals, and couldn't figure out what was wrong. It was at this time that my Dad's wife informed me that this happened to him just last week-same scenario...laughing hard. My Dad is the most STUBBORN man when it comes to hospitals, doctors, treatment, etc. but he let the paramedics examine him because he scared the SH*T out of myself and my brother. He refused transport to the hospital and was adamant that he would not go because he was under the influence. And yes, alcohol was a factor last week too. My brother than recalled that this happened to my Dad years ago. So given that it's happened 3 times now, I decided to do a little search and I came across this thread of people who have had similar experiences. I am hoping that my dad is also having Vasovagal episodes (two of the Firefighters that responded last night actually mentioned they thought he might be "Vaging" out-I'm an SLP and since the Vagus nerve is highly related to swallowing, we have a lot of familiarity with that specific cranial nerve). When I called my Dad this morning to relay my theory, he confirmed my suspicion that the moment before he stopped breathing, he could feel the episode coming on. It's my belief that he was not able to stop it since he was under the influence of alcohol. I too had an episode like that once-not from coughing, but from trying to practice esophageal speech (burp talking) in preparation for a class presentation-I was kneeling down at my bed, going over my notes, swallowed hard a few times, and suddenly I felt light-headed, the room started to spin, and darkness overtook my vision. I was scared that I was having a stroke or something, so I remember talking to myself thinking "If you're having a stroke-you won't be able to finish grad school! You'd better say something out loud!" So I said "WHAT'S GOING ON?" and just like that, the lights started to come back and I found that I had leaned over completely on to the bed by that point. When I lifted myself back up, I had this LOUD static noise in my ears and I called my husband. This was a near-syncope, as many of you have described, as you are able to kind of control it before it completely happens. But my Dad has completely succumbed to this three times now. I too, feel better knowing that others have had these experiences and are doing okay. Any advice you guys can offer??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • A few facts up front. I'm overweight, middle-aged male and currently seeing doctors of the laughing problem. I've probably spent a few thousand dollars so far with doctors investigating why I've started passing out when laughing. I used to laugh and feel very light headed like I was climbing high into the clouds, but it wouldn't cause me to pass out. It was just like a quick trance or whoever you want to describe it...but in the past 1 1/2 years it went from laughing and staying fully conscious to laughing and passing out.The first time this laughing/passing out problem happened was about 1 1/2 yrs ago at work. I was walking away from my desk and hit something and was laughing..next thing I knew I was leaned against a wall after crashing into the water cooler. I only woke up out of my unconsiousness when a colleague started screaming at me. I'm told I was out for about 45-50 seconds when it happened. All I remember is a dark, tunnel vision and hearing voices in the distance just before I "woke" up from my fainting or whatever it is. I did have a headache for several months afterward, and they ran a Catscan, MRI and bonescan to see if anything showed. Nadda. I believe the headaches were long because I may have actually bruised my brain, according to one doctor. The bruising occuring when I hit my head on an object from work just before falling. It was a vigorous laugh that caused all this to happen. They called the ambulance at work, ran tests and there was nothing wrong. They wanted me to go the hospital for followup but I refused; instead, I had a friend pick me up and kept my car at the office at the insistance of co-workers. I was at the doctor running tests until late that day. I'm writing this part since maybe someone else had this show up in a skull catscan or MRI..the sight of it was quite strange..like a bullet sticking out of my brain but it was no bullet it was something naturally occurring it seems. I was concerned it could be cancer and they checked it out further and insisted it wasn't (nuclear bone scan also ruled it out). They called it a lytic lesion right parietal skull, or slight atrophy with slight sulcal prominence and slight increased CSF space over the frontal lobes. Pictures I've seen online describe it was an Arachnoid villi or granulations (picture here is close to what it looks like: http://www.ajnr.org/cgi/reprint/27/7/1491.pdf). Bottom line, the doctors do not believe this is the cause of the laughing problem -- and they say I could have been born with this lesion. The second time this laughing problem happened I was at home with a friend. I don't remember what I was laughing about but started walking out of my room and was holding the side of the door. Next thing I know I'm started to fall over the lamp next to the door and passing out. I woke up 40-50 seconds later from what I'm told -- and my friend was freaked out and wanted to call the ambulance. I insisted he not do it. It took a few hours but I started to feel normal again and despite a slight nagging headache for a few days I was fine. He was shaken up by the whole incident, though, and the first person to actually see me up close when it happened. He did manage to measure my vitals right after I woke up from the unconsciousness, and it revealed: systolic 179; diastolic 153; pulse/min 101. That's vs. the normal one of 107:62;68. This does appear to show a very rapid heart rate as the laughing happens and immediately afterward.The third time this happened I was at work again, and I don't remember laughing too hard but was staring at a computer screen while talking to a co-workers standing across from me. Next thing I know I wake up with my head down and staring at the screen and hear this co-worker and another one running into the room calling my name. What had apparently happened is I blacked out sitting down. I never heard the screaming until just before waking up. My co-worker said she watched the whole thing and this is how she described it: "you laughed and then your face started to turn bright red and your eyes too. It was like blood had all rushed to your face and it was extremely bright red. Next you passed out and your head slowly moved downward as you sat. We kept screaming at you but you didn't wake up. Then as you woke up the blood started to go away and your face turned from purple-like to almost a normal color." Again, I had a headache for a few days after this incident. They also wanted to call the rescue ambulance but I insisted was I was ok and finished up my work and left within 20 minutes. I was kind of in a fog at the time and dazed and embarassed by how everything happened. The fourth time I was laughing and holding the side of a rail at the office. I didn't really pass out but started to feel the effects of it. A fifth time I was at home and laughing whole swallowing water. I almost choked to death it seems because as I laughed my body wanted to go into the sleep but the coughing and choking prevented it from. I found it hard to get air. It took me a good 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to actually clear up to breathe normal again. That told me NEVER watch anything funny while drinking liquids. It can be potentially deadly. So there you have it. These all happened to me. The doctors say my weight is contributing to the problem. They also ran a sleep test and it shows I'm not fully sleeping at night due to apnea and now want me to get the machine installed. So I am trying to lose weight, use the machine when it comes, and hoping this thing goes away. But the laughing problem is still an issue and concern. I believe it's caused by high blood pressure that elevates just as I'm about to laugh. One time when I was laughing at work my face turned all red but I didn't pass out. My co-worker, who knows a lot about medicine, says he too believes it's blood pressure related and probably weight.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm a 57 year old male now with no symptoms. At age 45 I ha developed a simular symtoms in that whenever I would cough or laugh vigorsly I would get tunnel vision and almost pass out. I almost passed out driving on the highway at 70 mph speed from coughing.The neurologist said I had "cough syncope". He stated it was more common in adolecents. Basically, he described that there is a "check valve" in a vein or artery going to the brain. If the "check valve" doesn't hold, then overpressure (blood pressure) to the brain can make you pass out. Apparently, my over pressure was comming from laughing or coughing forcefully.After about 3 years - I no longer had any such episodes.This exactly explains what happened to me the other day. Thankfully I was sitting and nothing happened to me. I am a healthy 42 year old male about 20 lbs overweight. I drive a lot and my biggest fear is to have an episode while driving. I have only passed out once, but I have been close to passing out while coughing two other times. Thanks for sharing.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • These symptoms are all the same that I share. I just had my 5-6th episode last night. I'm 41 yrs old, 20 lbs overweight with activitiy induced asthma. The first time happened approx. 6 years ago, beers with friends laughing, falling out of my chair laying on the floor. Really throws a damper in a good time. Last winter did it while driving ended up in the snow bank-thank god, crossed lanes of traffic. Freaked out the passengers. Had my latest one last night sitting around camp fire with family, laughing and out. After I came to, was clamy, first time I felt nasuas with headaches.Family doctor has told me to lose weight and gave me an inhaler. If I start laughing out of control no time to grab it.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 6, 2010
    • 03:38 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm 38, pretty badly obese but working out now. I used to be in the Army. Even when I was still in the 200s I would get slightly light-headed and my vision would barely start to blur when laughing hard. Now, it is a near faint and I personally attribute it to my weight, probably fat constricting blood vessels either into or out of my head. For me, it happens within a few seconds after starting a hard laugh. About 10 seconds after that, it'll usually slowly start reversing even if I continue laughing hard, as if the blood is starting to flow again correctly. I do feel an increase in pressure in my head throughout the entire ordeal. It was interesting the blood pressure one gentleman stated his friend got from him, how quickly it elevated from normal to so high.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 20, 2010
    • 06:46 PM
    • 0
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  • This sounds like an easier way to pass out than the glue I normally inhale. Is it possible to just bring this on whenever you want to pass out, like maybe a couple times a week? Does weed help the effect, my friends and I laugh a lot on weed.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 8, 2011
    • 07:34 AM
    • 0
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  • Well, me to.I'm 38, 25 lbs. overweight at 5'10" and just noticed the faint felling while laughing a few weeks ago for the first time. Since then once more while laughing and another while coughing. Once I was driving so this scares me pretty bad.All 3 episodes I felt like I was able to gain my composure just in time to not faint. I definitely feel I would have blacked out if I did not stop laughing or coughing. Some other history about me, I have a bad concussion in late '05. Also another problem is almost every night one or both of my arms goes completely numb. I have not talked to a doctor about any of this yet but I plan to asap. I the arm numbing started kinda of about a year or two back, but was far enough apart I just thought I was laying on my arm wrong. I will check back to this thread and report on my dr visits.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 13, 2011
    • 11:58 PM
    • 0
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  • You should look into Gelasic Syncope (or Laugh Syncope) as published in the Journal of Medical Case reports. My roommate has this issue as well. It's scary, but apparently not harmful. Just be careful while driving.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This sounds like an easier way to pass out than the glue I normally inhale. Is it possible to just bring this on whenever you want to pass out, like maybe a couple times a week? Does weed help the effect, my friends and I laugh a lot on weed.Alfie, I can asure you that you do want to experience this feeling. I have read throgh all the threads because like so many others I want to know why I have been experiencing this. The first time it happened I was siting at the table playing scrabble with my sisters. I begin to laugh and start to feel dizziness. I said "wow I was about to pass out" and they laughed, no doubt because they did not understand the seriousness. I now know what the term "passed out laughing" mean. Although I never acually passed out but I had many occassion where those feelings overtake me while laughing. I am a nurse and I knew it meant I was being deprived of oxxgen, but I need to know why. I have had a cardiac workup and everything is fine. The doctors don't seem to have an answer. I found this site while researching. I have been expericing this for a few years now but the episodes are becoming more frequent.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Hi, Every one, till now I was thinking, I must be unique to have this problem, but now after reading the post I think otherwise. I used to feel dizzy after having a couple of sneeze to gather, and one day I fainted also that made me worried, went to the doctors and they had no answer. Then I observed the same thing while laughing also. It is dangerous as laughing you can control and stop. But Sneezing and specially is you are allergic or variation in temperature causes you to sneeze. I some what agree with the post By by bedoubleyou, Jan 02, 2009 03:12PM “It's been associated with vascular disease and its risk factors.” That is what I feel to as we are laughing we are excelling air which causes a defency of oxygen in the body and it shuts down. Why I do not Know. what is the Solution / cure
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I, am 40/male, had the same problem once about 6 years ago, I was in restaurant with my wife and mother and were having dinner, suddenly my mother did a joke (folded pizza in tissue and putted in bag) and I laughed and laughed, then felt that I am loosing vision and going to antoher state (or mode). After few seconds opened my eyes and I was on the floor, my wife and mother were standing and wondering what happened. So from that day whenever I laugh and feel that I am going to that state again, I just stop lauging and everything becomes normal. I can control it because don't drink but definitly something is wrong or changed internally which caused this. I never had this before 6 years ago in my whole life. Hopefully it is not a major issue but my life were very very busy from about last 10 years and I think it definetely made some impact on my health. My doctor said, let me know if happens again, Can I really take that risk again just for the sake of doctor invertigation!! offcourse not, what if I will not come back from that state, you know what I mean....bye bye
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I too have experienced this fainting/passing out for a few seconds or so after laughing very hard or after a coughing fit. I did go to my general practioner, had blood work, blood pressure, physical exam, etc. etc Everything came back ok. Dr. chalked it up to vasovagal response. The syncopal episode brought about by lack of O2. It is pretty scary when it happens and seems to only last for 20-30 seconds or so - but I have some nausea and a dizzy feeling for a few hours after it occurs (I also am VERY sensitive to motion sickness, boats, amusements rides, etc.) I too would be interested in any other info that anyone may have here!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Alfie, I can asure you that you do want to experience this feeling. I have read throgh all the threads because like so many others I want to know why I have been experiencing this. The first time it happened I was siting at the table playing scrabble with my sisters. I begin to laugh and start to feel dizziness. I said "wow I was about to pass out" and they laughed, no doubt because they did not understand the seriousness. I now know what the term "passed out laughing" mean. Although I never acually passed out but I had many occassion where those feelings overtake me while laughing. I am a nurse and I knew it meant I was being deprived of oxxgen, but I need to know why. I have had a cardiac workup and everything is fine. The doctors don't seem to have an answer. I found this site while researching. I have been expericing this for a few years now but the episodes are becoming more frequent.For the last three months I have had these same symptoms (getting extemely dizzy when I laugh). My doctor said I should change the way I laugh but do you know how hard that is? I am going to get a second opinion b/c it is so scary when it happens...Thanks so mcuh for posting this. It is good to know you are not alone.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I get dizzy when I laugh to the point of almost passing out. It is very scary and just started three months ago. The doctor does not take me seriously and I am going to get a second opinion. It is good to know I am not alone. Thank you.
    curiousm 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • My husband has this same thing. The first time we totalled out a suburban with the entire family in it and had no idea thats what happened. The third time really brought it out. At dinner at the inlaws house. He was laughing pretty good (he doesn't laugh out loud, just kind of snickers) and then turned beet read and out he goes. 10-20 seconds and he's back with me.. but cold sweat, kinda spacey looking.. Within a week we went to the doctor, he says lots of people do it to... for our peace of mind we went to a cardiologist. He did the echo cardiogram and everything looked fine. No meds, no real diagnosis. We're all on pins and needles when he laughs but the hardest part... You want them to be happy and laugh. i'm going to continue searching but its encouraging to know that he's not alone.My husband has been doing pretty much the same thing. It has happened twice now and I am really concerned. Please let us all know if you find any more information on this. Like you said, I want him to be happy and be able to laugh without worrying if he is going to pass out. I think it is actually harder on me, because I worry about him all the time now. He just starts laughing and next thing you know, he is unconcious. It is really scary. He wakes up kind of disoriented for a few seconds and then he seems fine, except for being tired and it totally ruining a great experience for everyone. I know how you feel. I will try to post any new information I find also. Thanks for letting us know we're not alone.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I see were getting quite a number of people who have this problem. So I would like to ask some other questions about this issue. Do others feel short of breathe sometimes without laughing? And I have never passed out because of this before I just feel like it. But when I laugh I can't talk for awhile after because I am out of breathe. Do others feel the same way?I am just curious because doctor cannot help us. They don't know what causes it or how to stop it. I've had and EKC and an ECHO done and thankfully both have come back normal. So hopefully someone comes to this board with some advice on how to stop it from happening.Thanks, MichelleI do not have answer, but i do have a similar problem. I have had it since I was really young. When I start really laughing such as when I was tickeled when I was younger, I stop breathing. My throat closes up and I cant breathe till I calm down. I have not passed out but it has scared me and my fiance. It is almost like when a person is drowning and their throat closes as to not allow water to enter.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 12, 2011
    • 02:58 AM
    • 0
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  • I see were getting quite a number of people who have this problem. So I would like to ask some other questions about this issue. Do others feel short of breathe sometimes without laughing? And I have never passed out because of this before I just feel like it. But when I laugh I can't talk for awhile after because I am out of breathe. Do others feel the same way?I am just curious because doctor cannot help us. They don't know what causes it or how to stop it. I've had and EKC and an ECHO done and thankfully both have come back normal. So hopefully someone comes to this board with some advice on how to stop it from happening.Thanks, MichelleMichelleI have been experiencing the same event where I pass out when laughing hard. It can be a very disconcerting to say the least. But I noticed you posted of having shortness of breath at other times and this happens to me alot. Especially while speaking for a lengthy amount of time. I will feel out of breath and strain to complete my words or sentence. I also had an Echo which showed no issues with my heart. I am at a loss to explain what is happening to me and I am hoping to gain some insight from others who share this ailment.Best regardsVince
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 13, 2011
    • 10:00 PM
    • 0
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  • I have had three significant experiences which were exactly the same as so many posts here. Yesterday's episode resulted in a car wreck. The first was seven years ago. Always laughing in a hard internal giggle/snicker/laugh. The story my passenger was telling (that got me laughing yesterday) was actually vey funny. Until it wasn't. Loss of vision, hearing, and no control of my body. My foot hit the gas and I was out. No one hurt. Lucky. I would totally volunteer for a study - will watch for updates, post for study/research opportuities.
    nickndar 1 Replies Flag this Response
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