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Eyes Rolling Back While Passing Out Symptoms & Causes

An illustration of a set of eyes. Only the bottoms of the hazel irises and black pupils are visible, as they are rolled back. The rest of each eye is a grey-white with pink football-shaped outlines.
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Last updated March 11, 2024

Eyes rolling back while passing out quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your eyes rolling back while passing out.

Reasons for your eyes rolling back while passing out may include orthostatic syncope, vasovagal syncope, or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Read below for more information on causes of passing out and relief options.

6 most common cause(s)

Vasovagal Syncope
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Generalized tonic-clonic seizure
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Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
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Lennox-gastaut syndrome
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Orthostatic syncope (fainting)
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Eyes rolling back while passing out quiz

Take a quiz to find out what's causing your eyes rolling back while passing out.

Take eyes rolling back while passing out quiz

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3 eyes rolling back while passing out causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced eyes rolling back while passing out. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Vasovagal syncope

Vasovagal syncope is one of the most common causes of fainting. occurs when the body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. The body coordinates a sudden drop of heart rate and blood pressure, causing reduced blood flow to the brain and a brief loss of consciousness.

You do not need treatment for this condition, as it is normal and not a cause for concern. You may require medical attention if during the fainting episode you fell and injured a body part.

Orthostatic syncope (fainting)

Orthostatic syncope refers to a type of loss of consciousness caused by rapidly standing up from a sitting position, and not enough blood reaches the head. This can cause a person to pass out, but then come back to consciousness without lasting effects.

Losing consciousness can be scary, but your case seems to be benign without any long lasting effects. However, it might be good to consult a doctor over the telephone to discuss whether a visit is needed.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: lightheadedness, brief fainting episode, dizziness and lightheadedness before passing out, fainting after standing up, fainting for the first time

Symptoms that always occur with orthostatic syncope (fainting): brief fainting episode, fainting after standing up

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit


Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, also called the myocardium.

It is a rare complication of any viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal infection. Reaction to drugs, medications, chemicals, or even radiation can bring about myocarditis.

Anyone with a weakened immune system or pre-existing heart condition is susceptible.

Symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, and shortness of breath, especially following a viral upper respiratory illness. Swelling of the feet and legs from poor circulation may be seen.

If symptoms are severe, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1. Myocarditis weakens the heart so that it cannot pump blood as it should. Blood clots, stroke, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia,) and sudden cardiac death can result without treatment.

Diagnosis is made by electrocardiogram (ECG,) chest x-ray, MRI, echocardiogram, and blood tests.

Short-term treatment is with rest and medication, depending on what kind of illness brought about the myocarditis. Sometimes, devices to support the heartbeat may be surgically implanted.

Long-term treatment may involve medicines such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs, beta blockers, and diuretics.

Lennox-gastaut syndrome

Lennox-Gastaut is a severe form of epilepsy, which is a disorder characterized by frequent seizures. Seizures are bursts of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. Most people with this syndrome experience some impairment in intellectual function and information processing. Developmental delays and behavioral disturbance are also common.

You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a nerve specialist (neurologist). This condition is managed by prescription medication to control the seizures.

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) begins in childhood or adolesence, usually between ages 8 and 20, and lasts into adulthood. The most common type of seizure in people with this condition is myoclonic seizures, which cause rapid, uncontrolled muscle jerks.

You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options for managing symptoms.

Generalized tonic-clonic seizure

A seizure is a short burst of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. A generalized tonic-clonic seizure affects both halves of the brain, and comes in two phases (tonic and clonic). The tonic phase is characterized by rigidity of all muscles and loss of consciousness. Saliva may escape the mouth, and the bladder may contract, releasing urine. The clonic phase follows, when the body appears to shake. This may last from seconds to minutes. The person gradually regains consciousness. A seizure may be caused by an underlying disease such as epilepsy, or by triggers such as heavy drinking, drugs, or anxiety.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: being severely ill, brief fainting episode, confusion/disorientation after returning to consciousness, not having protected the body during the fall, eyes rolling back while passing out

Symptoms that always occur with generalized tonic-clonic seizure: being severely ill, loss of consciousness without remembering, confusion/disorientation after returning to consciousness

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Eyes rolling back while passing out symptom checker statistics

People who have experienced eyes rolling back while passing out have also experienced:

  • 9% Neck Pain On One Side
  • 9% Headache
  • 6% Pain In The Back Of The Neck

People who have experienced eyes rolling back while passing out were most often matched with:

  • 63% Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure
  • 18% Orthostatic Syncope (Fainting)
  • 18% Vasovagal Syncope

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.

Hear what 1 other is saying
Once your story receives approval from our editors, it will exist on Buoy as a helpful resource for others who may experience something similar.
The stories shared below are not written by Buoy employees. Buoy does not endorse any of the information in these stories. Whenever you have questions or concerns about a medical condition, you should always contact your doctor or a healthcare provider.
Confused about what it wasPosted June 16, 2020 by U.
My grandfather got tired and sat down. We thought he was taking a nap. He had sunglasses and a hat on so we couldn’t tell he was unconscious until he didn’t respond when we checked his eyes. They had rolled back and we thought he was having a stroke. Then he woke up and was slurring his words and threw up twice. The paramedics came and said it was most likely because of low blood sugar or something to do with his triple bypass surgery that he had 6 months ago.

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