Open Eyes While Unconscious Symptom, Causes & Questions

When someone is passing out with their eyes open, this may be caused by generalized tonic-clonic seizures, long fainting episode, or vasovagal syncope. Read below for more information on loss of consciousness causes and treatment options.

  1. 3 Possible Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

3 Possible Open Eyes While Unconscious Causes

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

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

Open Eyes While Unconscious Symptom Checker

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Vasovagal syncope

Vasovagal syncope is sudden fainting caused by a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure when your body overreacts to certain emotional or neurologic triggers. A loss of consciousness occurs due to reduced blood flow to the brain.

Those with vasovagal syncope will also experienc...

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Long fainting episode

Fainting for an extending period of time requires an immediate physician work-up because it could be serious. You should see a doctor immediately.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: long fainting episode

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Real-life Stories

Once your story is reviewed and approved by our editors, it will live on Buoy as a helpful resource for anyone who may be dealing with something similar. If you want to learn more, try Buoy Assistant.

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.

Submitted Stories

Cavernoma found—15 minutes of vegetative state

Female age 41. While asleep I fell off the bed and my husband woke up to the sound of me falling. I apparently remained unconscious but would respond to stimulus, looking him in the eye while continuing to snore. After 15 minutes I came to (EMS was on the scene) and I was sent to the emergency department of the local hospital. I had a chest CT and a brain MRI and was found to have a cavernous malformation in the left hemisphere of my brain.

Read More ...

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Open Eyes While Unconscious

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • How long were you unconscious?
  • Do you notice your heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly (also called palpitations)?
  • Have you been experiencing dizziness?
  • Were you confused and disoriented when you woke up?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Open Eyes While Unconscious Symptom Checker

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Open Eyes While Unconscious Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced open eyes while unconscious have also experienced:

  • 15% Fainting
  • 6% Dizziness
  • 5% Involuntary Movements

People who have experienced open eyes while unconscious were most often matched with:

  • 43% Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure
  • 43% Long Fainting Episode
  • 12% Vasovagal Syncope

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Open Eyes While Unconscious Symptom Checker

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