Laughter-Induced Syncope (Fainting) Is Nothing to Laugh About

Updated on August 31, 2018
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Lori is a writer and nana to 12 grandchildren. Her experiences with laughter-induced syncope has taught her that it's no laughing matter.

Source

Fainting While Laughing Is Scary

On social media, people are always writing LOL ("laughing out loud"), or LMAO ("laughing my a** off). I can't relate to that since that body part was not involved when I fainted while laughing. However, the phrase "I laughed my head off," does ring true for me. We often hear people say, "I nearly died laughing." I don't know if anyone has ever actually died due to laughing, but it is possible to faint while in the throes of intense laughter. I have fainted three times while laughing, and the last time was the scariest.

The First Time

The first time I was working in a school kitchen preparing lunch. My co-worker and I did nothing but joke and laugh every day while working. (Not to worry. We did a good job for the students.) One day we were in rare form. I found something funny in what we were discussing and made a joke about it. Basically, I cracked myself up. I laughed and laughed and couldn't stop. It was so intense that at one point no sound came out. Things grew dark, and my body started to slowly slide toward the ground. I did not hit the floor, but almost. It was a weird, slow-motion kind of thing. It only lasted maybe 10-15 seconds, possibly less. I came out of it slowly. It was the weirdest thing. It was while slowly coming to that I recognized I had passed out. My co-worker didn't see it as she had her back to me the whole time.

The Second Time

The second time I was lying on the couch reading a very funny book. I howled with laughter and again blacked out. I was fortunate to have been lying on the couch so I was safe from falling.

The Third Time

The last time was about a year ago. I was on YouTube watching a comedy routine with Ellen DeGeneres (she is so funny!). I was sitting at my desk in my office and laughed so intensely I passed out completely, slumping over with my forehead on my computer keyboard. The return to consciousness was slow and gradual. At one point I was aware that something was happening and I was struggling to come fully awake, but everything was still black. Then I felt my arms flailing around. I don't mind telling you it scared the heck out of me.

The two most frightening moments when this happened was when I realized that my laughter was way too intense (physically uncomfortable), and I had no control of myself. I couldn't get a breath, and the pressure in my head and face was horribly forceful. It felt like I seized up (not like having a seizure), got stuck in mid-laugh, and I was helpless to get out of it. The blackout is slower than other kinds of fainting. I could feel myself sinking for a second or two, then nothing.

The coming to was the worst part. The sensation is very difficult to describe. It was like when you are dreaming that you're running and you can only go in the slowest of slow motion. It was like coming to the surface of consciousness through a thick vat of mud. Before I was fully conscious, there was a point where my reasoning flickered and I knew I had passed out and was struggling to consciousness. But it was only a flicker, and that split second was frightening. The physical sensation of coming to I cannot describe adequately, so I won't even try, but it's the most horrible part.

What Happens During Laughter-Induced Syncope?

Laughter-induced syncope, also known as gelastic (pronounced ja-lastic) syncope, is what I just described. (It's not to be confused with gelastic seizures, which is a completely different type of disorder and far more serious.) Syncope simply means fainting. Biomed Central published a Journal of Medicine case report which described it this way: "Intense laughter causes repetitive forced expirations in a staccato pattern with a Valsalva-type effect." 1

I talked to my friend MaryAnn King, who is a registered nurse (RN), who took the time to research it and explain it to me in easier terms. As she explained it:

"They think that the intense laughter might stimulate the vagus nerve. When this nerve is stimulated it causes a sudden drop in the heart rate and blood pressure, and it's more than the brain can handle so it shuts down and you pass out. It's called a vagal response. The vagus nerve runs from the brain to the anus, so they think the build up of pressure in the chest while laughing stimulates the nerve. A vagal response is common, but laughing syncope and gelsastic are pretty uncommon."

Source

Have you ever passed out while laughing, or for some other reason?

See results

This Is What Happened to Me (Forgive the Expletives)

My Remedy

Since my last episode I have taken care in what I watch on YouTube, what I read, and how far I take joking, so my life is rather dull. Kidding, of course. I may have to write Ellen DeGeneres a letter to let her know how hard she made me laugh. I forgive her, though. It's a credit to her skill as a comedian. And who knows, she may bring me on her show and give me a year's supply of smelling salts.

I am getting ready to take a 12-week stand-up comedy class (just for fun) with a performance at the end. (I have an article in the works about it.) I hope I'm not so funny that I make someone pass out. Probably not.

Afterword

I have added this section due to the overwhelming response of people who have experienced laughter-induced (gelastic) syncope—and the alarm, fear, and concern it has caused.

Please see your physician if it really worries you! Your doctor will be able to explain what is happening during the episode better than I have, and you can ask questions. He or she may even be able to advise on how to prevent an episode. We can't walk around being afraid to laugh.

You take care!!!

Thanks to MaryAnn King, R.N., for her research and assistance for this article.

Source From Biomed Central

1 Katsufumi Nishida, Sean K Hirota, and Jinichi Tokeshi (2008, July 7). "Laugh syncope as a rare sub-type of the situational sycopes: a case report." Journal of Medical Case Reports. Retrieved May 20, 2016.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Lori Colbo

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      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh my goodness Vickie, that's hysterical. I'm laughing out loud. I haven't passed out yet though.

        Sorry your husband isn't on board. What I've been doing when I laugh hard and I start feeling weird I start taking deep breaths, which is hard to do when your laughing so hard. If possible I leave the situation that's making me laugh. I've even slapped my own face, as if that's going to stop itl

        I have come close to fainting with hard coughing also. That's a bigger challenge but I rarely get severe coughs.

        Take care and thanks for the good laugh today. Moooo!

      • profile image

        Vickie Kasunick 

        2 months ago

        my husband gets mad at me he thinks i make it up- my daughter knows the signs and makes me breath and look at her and can brig me back before it happens-sometimes that to makes me mad! the best one happened in church! someones phone went off in church and it was a cow mooing! only to find out it was my sister in laws ringtone for her farmer son! it was so funny I was laughing and then I couldn't stop other people started laughing at me and it all went south from there:)

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Kevin. When I feel a laugh being too hard and I'm starting to feel faint I start doing deep breathing and I do as your friend told you, try to get away from the situation and think of something else. It's not always possible, but you know, if you're in a room full of laughing people it's much harder to control your laughing. Step outside the room, take a brief walk, eat something (hard to laugh when you're chewing) shower, read your credit card bill, look at your medicine chest full reminders you have age related ailments. Scream outside, slap yourself. You get the drift. It's good you talked to your doctor.

      • profile image

        Kevin 

        3 months ago

        Yes, that spur of the moment thing when you or someone else say's something extremely funny and at that moment you laugh so hard that you can't stop. 1st time a year ago, two grandsons were playing that mouth game where you have something in your mouth & try to talk to say a phrase, while others try to guess what it is that you are saying. my one grandson responded with "you like to itch yourself naked". it caused that spur of the moment intense laughter that in a minute, I found myself coming back into consciousness while everyone else was still laughing. Doc said that I need to try to think of something not so funny if I feel that I'm in that situation again to stop it from oncoming. 2nd time, a year later, my buddy was telling me how him & this girl he met how they are so alike & he's really interested in her... that they both like exactly the same thing. my immediate response was, what, she likes penis's too. (sorry about stating that, poor taste). but I cracked myself up & was then passing out (lol) on his lap. wrong place to be after a comment like that... but everybody i'm around once I now get to laughing starts throwing pillows on the floor in case it happens again. I'm good, & if I ever die of laughter, I can't think of a better way to go. well, I could think of a better way... but this one's pretty good too.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        8 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Jim, SNL is dangerous if you have this happen to you. You described it very well and I love the comparison to that game we played as kids (which I always thought stupid). Thanks for writing.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        8 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Memi, you asked why this is happening to you suddenly. I have the same question. This didn't happen to me until my late 50s. I never got an answer. I would talk to your doctor about it. The information in this article explains what is happening physiologically, but I don't have an answer as to what to do about it. Your doctor may be able to tell you. I get this coughing once in a blue moon. I have bronchitis right now and have not experienced it with my coughing. But I have other times. I've tried to find information on how to prevent this experience but there is very little available online. What I can find is only scientific papers with big words and they only explain it, never a prevention. If your doctor can give you answer I'd love to hear it.

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        Jim Koeniger 

        8 months ago

        Thanks for writing this. It helps to know I'm not alone. This has happened to me many times. Most recently I was watching SNL. A skit made me laugh so hard I passed out. I start laughing and can't stop. Soon it's hard to breathe. I get light headed with "pins and needles" in my head, face, hands, and feet. It feels like the game we used to play as kids where we took a few deep breaths, held our nose and mouth shut, squatted, and tried to blow the air out. We'd start staggering around the playground. I guess it was an early form of organic drug taking. Nobody died. Now when it happens I freak out thinking I'm having a stroke but I always "come to" slowly. It's scary.

      • profile image

        Memi 

        8 months ago

        This is very scary because this has recently effected me ! I noticed when ever I laugh or cough I feel as though I am slowly passing out ! I go into like a pause where there is no sound no breathing and I get very dizzy things grow dark for 3 to 4 seconds then I relax and inhale and come out of it . No fun , feeling of dread washes over me ; seems that coughing or laughing are both trying to kill me. What can be done to fix this ? Why is it happening to me all of a sudden?

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        8 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Mary, so sorry to hear this. When I first wrote this article I thought this phenomenon was unusual, but from the amount of comments and views I've gotten on this it isn't so rare at all. Maybe you need to take a break from Harvey for awhile. lol God bless and be careful.

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        Mary 

        8 months ago

        Two days ago I was watching TMZ and Harvey made a comment that made me laugh so hard that I fainted and woke up on the floor with such intense pain in my mouth and head...I almost broke my front tooth and don't remember what Harvey said. This was my second time fainting with deep and intense laughter. Really scary.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        8 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh my goodness, Lee, thank goodness your son was there. Interesting you mentioned coughing. That has happened to me also. It's so darn scary, but knowing more about it, I am more mindful when I am in those situations and at least as far as laughing, I start to take in deep breaths and let it out, rather rapidly, which so far hasn't caused me to hyperventilate. God bless you.

      • profile image

        Lee 

        8 months ago

        This happened to me while i was driving at 50mph, the scarriest part was that i didnt pass out straight away there was about 1-2 second of feeling faint before hand which seemed to have felt forever in which i went blind but aware, and i passed out for about 3 seconds after that. within that time my 12 yr old son grabbed the wheel and kept us in a straight line. But the scarriest part was definitly the moments before where i was aware of what was about to happen. That was my 2nd time it happened from laughter i have also had it from a coughing fit on 1 occasion.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        9 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh, Amy, what a fright that must have been for you. I hope it never happens again.

      • profile image

        Amy 

        9 months ago

        Something like this just happened with my husband in the grocery store. We were in line laughing, when he suddenly started falling back on me. I couldn't catch him, so I just tried to ease him down to the ground. He was flailing and hit his head on the ground few times. It was absolutely terrifying, and then he just stood up and said "I'm OK." Everyone in line was concerned, and it was really awkward afterward.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        10 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Herb, I'm glad you weren't hurt but yes, it sure is scary. I'm glad someone was there with you. Check with your doctor if you're worried. Thanks for sharing.

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        Herb 

        10 months ago

        Never have I experienced anything like this before. I have never fainted for any reason. It happened today at work. I was amongst coworkers and some one laughed that triggered laughter amongst the rest of us. I laugh like a hyena so I tried to hold it in, but next thing I realized I felt myself sliding down slowly and then crashed into some boxes and came to. When I came to, I had a weird feeling. I was confused because I didn’t realize what just happened. A coworker of mine said she saw that I fainted. This is definitely the scariest experience I have had in my life.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        10 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh, LaKetia, that's the worse story I've heard yet. I hope you've suffered no injuries. Please see your physician ASAP. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

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        LaKetia Jones 

        10 months ago

        This happened to me for the first time yesterday, or at least from what I recall, I was laughing very hard leaning forward in an office chair and next thing you know I felt my face and head hitting the floor but I cannot recall what occurred in between, just hearing my classmates yelling. This has been very helpful.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        11 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Andrew, you describe it so well. Blacking out is scary stuff.

      • profile image

        Andrew Campbell 

        11 months ago

        I am glad I found this as I have experienced this for quite a few years now and it can be scary. Only happens when I laugh quite hard until my stomach hurts and struggle for breath, then I feel my limbs going weak and all goes black and some times I pass out completely.

        So glad its not just me.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        12 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Brandon, I'm sorry this happened to you. It's good you will ask your doctor about it. Take care brother. Don't laugh too hard.

      • profile image

        Brandon Trevor 

        12 months ago

        Thank you so much for writing this. You described your experience with much more accurate imagery and detail than I could've. I just experienced this for the first time an hour ago. The worst part was the panic I felt as I was regaining consciousness: like my mind was flailing around like a drowning swimmer, and not knowing where I was or what I had been doing.

        It was comforting to read your article and all the other comments, and learn that I'm not alone and that this is, in fact, a somewhat common experience. I'll be mentioning this to my physician during my annual checkup next month, to be safe.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        12 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh my Ada, I hope you are fully mended. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image

        Ada White 

        12 months ago

        I have passed out from laughing my whole life and I have complained to the doctors but they look at me like I'm crazy and still can't give me any explanation. All what I have learned on my own is from these articles , research , or you tube videos . I have been fortunate not to be in harms way or trying to control it until 09/03/2017 when I was with my family and got into a intense laughter and they weren't aware of my condition and I passed out of a chair onto a concrete floor injuring my head . My family thought I just fell due to the laughter until they saw me hit my head very hard and I had no movement.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        13 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Rick, definitely see your Doctor.

      • profile image

        Rick 

        13 months ago

        I am having increasingly worse dizzy spells and coming close to passing out when laughing. Vision starts to close in and dizziness occurs to a point where I feel if I can not stop myself from laughing I will black out.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        14 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        N phipps, were you laughing? Regardless, I would recommend a trip to the doctor just to be on the safe side. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image

        Shemka 

        16 months ago

        This happened to me about six months ago. I was at my sister d we were laughing at a facebook posts, and I was so tickled that I started running in laughter, but on my way bak to my seat after trying to catch my breath, I was shaking and my head was hurting badly from the release of laughing that I was looking at my hand while trying to reach the kitchen table bc I was very dizzy and my muscles felt like they had given up on me and I saw me falling in slow motion and for a second I did not see anything but felt my head hit the floor. I could also hear my sister and nephew calling me as I was falling, but as soon as I hit the floor, I became alert but could not believe I had just fainted. I even get dizzy and lightheaded now if I laugh too hard and I am sitting down. I went to the emergency room and took an ekg and catscann. They used the term synecope for what I experienced and released me with no medication or anything

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        16 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Dan, you described it well. Good for you for going to your doctor. I hope he can help you. Thanks for writing.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        16 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Dan, you described it well. Good for you for going to your doctor. I hope he can help you. Thanks for writing.

      • profile image

        Dan 

        16 months ago

        Just happened today. Was at work sitting at my desk as my colleagues and I were joking around and I laughed so hard nearly passedan out.

        Now I have had the lightheaded thing before while laughing. However, nothing like today.

        I actually felt like I did blackout for a short second. Ears were ringing, felt helpless. Could not move and then slowly got back. It must have been only about a total of 30-45 seconds. It felt like an eternity. Scariest feeling ever. I actually felt like I was not going to come back. Going to call primary doctor tomorrow. Weird stuff!!

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        18 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh my gosh Sabrina. How frightening. I'm so glad you are ok. Good for your friends for taking you to ER. The medical name for it is Gelastic syncope. Good idea for a follow up. Take care.

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        Sabrina 

        18 months ago

        This scary phenomenon happened to me for the first time a few hours ago.

        My friends and I were all sitting around a table chatting and laughing when I felt an uncontrollable burst of laughter coming on. I've laughed so hard before that I've become a little dizzy or lightheaded but never actually passed out until today. This was something new.

        My friends said I slumped back in the chair, my head went back, my face turned blood red, my slightly shaking arms drew up into my chest, and my barely open eyes had a blank dead stare for about 45 seconds. As I was coming to I could hear my friends yelling my name. The panic in their voices startled me to open my eyes and find them all hovering over me. I felt like I was just waking up from a midday nap but the look on my their faces told me something more serious had happened. They said it looked like I was having a seizure which only made me worry more. I insisted I was fine (other than the splitting headache that slowly started getting worse) but my amazingly wonderful friends demanded I go to the hospital right then.

        The doctor did an EKG, CT scan, and chest x-ray. All of which came back normal. The doctor's diagnosis was the uncontrollable laughing caused a bronchospasm which lead to a lack of oxygen to the brain and causing me to faint. He didn't use the terms "Laughing Syncope". But did say it was the result of a vagal response.

        I am calling tomorrow morning to set up an appointment with my primary care physician to run more tests and labs for my own peace of mind but so far everything looks normal.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        20 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh Erik, my goodness. I hope the stove wasn't on. Glad you're safe.

      • profile image

        Erik 

        20 months ago

        Happened to me in my kitchen .I fell into the stove and my wife was looking at me in shock. I played it off and said I slipped. I was hoping in these comments someone would say what there Dr.said to them.

      • profile image

        Dave 

        21 months ago

        Thanks for your post. After several -- close calls -- I passed out the other day. Jimmy Fallon set me off this time. I use to listen to comedy while driving -- no more!! One of my favorite things it to attend standup shows -- I guess that will be something to watch for.

        After on Dr visit and a normal EKG - I have a cardio and neurologist appointments -- while I'm still going to them -- I'll ask about Gelastic.Syndrome.

        Thank you!!!!

      • profile image

        Mike 

        21 months ago

        this occured to me twnety minutes ago for the first time. I had three beers and my wife and sones decided to go through the drive through. Our designated driver was cracking okes and my wife was incapable of ordering correctly from the back seat. We all laughed. the last thing I remember was my son cracking a joke and I started laughing. I woke up about 10 seconds later in a panic telling myself there was something wrong with me. I awoke no-one the wiser and having regurgitated some beer foam onto my chest and lap. This scared me. I think I would attribute this to my recent weight gain but not sure.....

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        21 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh my goodness Jack. Y ou are lucky to be Alive indeed. You take care of yourself. I have something I do to keep me from passing out. When my laughing is out of control and I feel its coming down I try to start gulping in bursts of breath. It works most of the time but I don't know if it would help everyone. Take care.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        21 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh my goodness Jack. Y ou are lucky to be Alive indeed. You take care of yourself. I have something I do to keep me from passing out. When my laughing is out of control and I feel its coming down I try to start gulping in bursts of breath. It works most of the time but I don't know if it would help everyone. Take care.

      • profile image

        Jack 

        21 months ago

        This has happened to me four times now in this past year. Three times at work, not completely going out before falling to the ground. But the most serious moment happened to me was swimming in the lake with my children and friends. I got to reminiscing with a friend about something that happened in my life that was extremely funny. Basically your description of how You felt was similar to mine when I went out. I heard ringing, and my surroundings was closing in like I was looking out a small window. My friend was15 feet away and happen to be looking at me when I went under. " I'm lucky to be alive,"he pulled me up to shore. I swallowed a lot of water and was in shock.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        22 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh boy, Eric, it's hard to say. I can say I have laughed in the past before my passing out days for a good ten minutes or more, with a few momentary pauses. As for now, I do laugh hard but when I feel the faint coming I start taking rapid deep breaths and find something to distract me. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image

        Eric 

        22 months ago

        Lambservant...do you still laugh that hard?..what is the latest and longest episode of laughter you have ever had?

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        24 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        Yvette, good for you for going to the doctor. I'm glad the EKG was normal but sorry about the prediabetes. Gelastic syncope is frightening. Like you, I've worried about it happening while driving, or in public. In the car I no longer worry. I listen to uplifting music. I don't very often have passengers as cute and funny as your daughter so I'm pretty safe. Take care of yourself and thanks for writing and sharing your experience.

      • profile image

        Yvette 

        24 months ago

        This happened to me a few months ago! I was eating with my daughter in a restaurant and took a sip of tea just as she said sonething funny. The last thing I remember is spraying the table with tea and trying to take a breath! Next thing I know my daughter is saying " Mom, are you ok?", and the sound of conversation in the restaurant. Like waking up in the morning. Anyway, now I worry about it happening while I'm driving or when I'm at work. My doctor said it was Vasovagal response, but ordered blood tests and an EKG just to be sure. EKG was normal but blood showed prediabetes.

      • profile image

        Robyn 

        2 years ago

        Happened to me the other day I was laughing really hard and all of a sudden everything went black felt like I was dreaming and I know I was sliding slowly came out of it and I didnt know where I was for a second my boyfriend saw what had happened

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Joe, I think only a doctor can help you. My research says it is not that serious, so I have not seen a doctor and it's so rare that it happens. In fact, it has not happened to me since I wrote this, although I've come close. A lot of the commenters have experienced this and I recommend to all of them that they seek a doctor visit.

        This article was just my attempt to bring awareness. I cannot and will not recommend any treatment as I don't have that training. A doctor is my recommendation. Good luck.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Montressa, that must have been very upsetting for your daughter and you. I hope the Dr gives her a clean bill of health.

      • profile image

        Montressa 

        2 years ago

        My daughter would always joke about feeling like she was going to pass out while she was laughing..she never did...until yesterday. She was in walmart with her best friend and they were laughing about something -who knows- but she said it was an uncontrollable laughter then she remember her friend saying are you ok are you ok get up.... she didnt even know she had fallen. Shes ok now but a bit shaken up still. Makimg an appt. TODAY!!!!

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        RasMarcus, How awful. I've written many many articles on hubpages but strangely enough, this article has not only vastly exceeded all other in viewers, but also in comments. This is a scary thing, fainting while laughing. When I wrote this I thought it was rare, but it seems not. Take care of yourself and see your doctor if you are concerned.

      • profile image

        RasMarcus 

        2 years ago

        Just like me, lots of people are finding this post very helpful the day after their episode of Laughing Syncope... thanks for the posting!

        Exactly the same happened to me yesterday - for the first time in life. Just after exploding into laughter with a mouth full of water - and spraying my daughter with it - I attempted to take a breath, but 'came to' a second or two later when my head hit the floor with a cracking sound and I could feel my arms and legs 'twitching' or 'convulsing'.

        Our laughing immediately stopped and I was dazed and confused for the first couple of minutes. Although I was able to get up quickly (10-15 seconds), I could not immediately remember how I fell - or what I was doing before picking myself up off the ground.

        When I remembered that I was laughing and why. I started to laugh again but realized my laughter was actually the cause of the fainting spell - and I became worried... then, I ended up here reading, absorbing, and contributing to this post - like so many others did.

        Again, thank you... and may your laughter remain 'light-hearting' and continue to promote well-being and pain relief - as it should.

        ONE LOVE

      • profile image

        kabrajohn 

        2 years ago

        This happened to me yesterday. In the past, I have felt myself almost lose consciousness multiple times while laughing. Lights popping, things going dark, but I've always been able to regain control. Yesterday I was not able to regain control. I was sitting in my office, watching a clip on the internet, and unexpectedly had a fit of silent laughter. The next thing I knew I was waking up on the ground, in a reverse of how I got there... What I mean by that is that the dark tunnel started to get brighter, and I began to realize that I was waking up, but shaking uncontrollably. As soon as I realized this, I stopped shaking and was able to sit back up into my chair (had fallen to the floor). It took me a minute to realize what had happened, but I felt that I immediately had capacity to think and react. I was scared and started looking up anything I could on this phenomenon, but really didn't know how to classify this. I've been looking up epilepsy and fainting for the past twenty-four hours. I'm SO glad to have found this post today. Makes a ton of sense! Thank you!

      • profile image

        Gani 

        2 years ago

        It happened to me last night wherein due to uncontrollable laugh, hit the tv slightly and fallen down. I was not feeling where it's hit and simply blackout until a strong sound came in 2 secs.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        I'm not a Dr so I would say definitely go see a Dr.

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        MPS Raghav 

        2 years ago

        Total blackout I didn't remember how I was down rather than just few seconds prior I was laughing (uncontrollable)

      • profile image

        MPS Raghav 

        2 years ago

        Today it happened with me, I fainted got into senses when he touched. I found myself on floor. Do I need to consult Dr or go for Ecg etc

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Craig, your description was very well stated. The curtain - yes that's what it's like. I hope you will overcome it. Don't listen to funny things while driving. If it happens for no reason (not laughing or coughing etc) then please go see a Dr. In fact ask him about it regardless just to make sure nothing else is going on. I'm very careful about not listening funny stuff when in a vulnerable situation. But recently I went to rehearsal for a local comedy play and laughed so hard I felt it coming on. I took rapid deep breaths. Almost had to leave. Take care.

      • profile image

        Kraig 

        2 years ago

        Your article is spot on and describes what happens to me. I also have this and it has been building up each time. It has happened 4 times now. The most recent was while watching a video (not Ellen) and I laughed so hard that I actually passed out cold on the kitchen floor. My daughter said I was twitching and she helped me gradually "wake up".

        While out it was pitch black, and I heard nothing. Just a peaceful dream-like state. I remember it felt extremely relaxing, but when I did come out of it I had a major headache.

        Before that episode I would always feel it coming on and would gradually go down to my knees while the "curtain" was coming down. My arms go numb and it's like someone is turning out the lights, but I would still hear everything going on. And I would usually can come out of it before I truly blacked out. It is very concerning. Good to know I am not alone in this. My main concern is that it will happen while driving or swimming.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Joker, see your physician.

      • profile image

        Unconscious Joker 

        2 years ago

        I have now blacked out whilst laughing 3 times each with increasingly alarming affects.

        The last time was whilst driving and I ended up rear ending a Van.

        I am very concerned

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Frank, I never dreamed when I was out by laughing, but I do have a very vivid dream life, and yes, dreams that seem to last for hours. Weirder, I will have a very long dream, wake up for awhile, return to sleep where the dream picks up where it left off. Thanks for stopping by.

      • profile image

        Frank McDonald 

        2 years ago

        Hi, So I recently had an episode where I started laughing, and literally right at the start of my laughter I felt like things were going black and than I was completely out. This episode felt like it lasted for 2-3 hours where witnesses told me it only lasted 30 seconds. I also had a very vivid, happy-like dream where I was concious of what I was doing in my dream. Maybe a start like of astral projection? Anywhoo, I was wondering if you have very vivid dreams that seem to last hours on end, where the actual fainting episode only lasts 30 seconds or so? Thank you for your time!!!

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        2 years ago from The Beautiful South

        I have never passed out from laughing but I use to laugh so much and so hard I would get horrible hiccups. The sounded disgusting and made laugh even more.

        You know the lesson here may be "all things in moderation" do you think? Although I sure would like to be that happy again. lol

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh Jennifer, that sounds really scary. Losing vision in one eye and a headache could be a sign of something worse. Please get medical attention if you get worse or have persistent symptoms.

        Darn that ol' Ellen anyway. .)

      • profile image

        Jennifer 

        2 years ago

        This just happen to me from watching an Ellen clip also. I got very scared my left eye went all black and it took a minute or so to come back to normal. I still feel a little funny and have a bit of a headache also. It happened once before a couple weeks ago. Very scary to me :(

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Cardisa, it wouldn't hurt to check in with your doctor, but my research shows thus far, that it isn't a fatal occurrence. It can also happen by coughing and crying hard. But I am not a medical professional and it would be a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure nothing else is going on and that he can reassure you if it's nothing else serious.

      • Cardisa profile image

        Carolee Samuda 

        2 years ago from Jamaica

        Thank you Lambservant. It's scary. I was thinking that something was wrong with me or that I wasn't getting enough oxygen when I laughed. I was planning on seeing my doctor about it because I am so scared.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Cardisa, you just described how I felt for a long time. Even today I try to avoid intense laughter - thus I don't watch Ellen too often. Your description of graduallity and things slowing down are scary. It's just as equally a slow gradual coming to. Slogging through mental mud I call it. Bless you Cardisa. I hope one day we can both laugh are batooties off with no fear. Thanks for sharing.

      • Cardisa profile image

        Carolee Samuda 

        2 years ago from Jamaica

        It's been happening to me gradually. The last time was a few days ago. I could feel myself starting to sink into an abyss and every thing slows down. I had to fight to stay conscious and wait until I was fully back to normal. I am so scared to laugh now, I try to keep myself from totally giving in to complete laughter.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Oh punkin, thank you for sharing. At we've done this for a good cause - laughter! Happy giggles my friend.

      • profile image

        Punkin 

        3 years ago

        I was watching a movie The Great Outdoors with John Candy, the funniest part of that movie is the encounter the family has with the bear. I was laughing and the next thing I know my husband and son were picking me up from the floor. I asked my cardiologist about it and she told me what this was, all I could say was wow!!

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Jim, research says it is not fatal. It's fainting, that's all. Can't imagine why you'd laugh so hard at the passing of your father-in-law, that's creepy - no offense.

      • profile image

        Jim 

        3 years ago

        I have passed out at least 5 times from laughing. Once while driving with my family in the car. I was aware that I was driving but lost ability to see. I couldn't do anything but sit. Another time was sitting at the dinner table after the loss of my father in law. The family was at the table I laughed raised my head back and went out. I came to slowly and as the slowmo vision caught up with me, my kid and wife, mouths open, stares at me. Soon I came back to my self but I was sweaty. I always felt alone, its nice and sad to know others have this too. Can it be fatal?

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Esha, thanks for stopping by! It is very frightening indeed!

      • profile image

        kesha 

        3 years ago

        Yes that happen to me and it was very scary wokeing up with my baby standing over me crying and I was just standing up laughing it happen 2 times so I have the same remedy

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Hi Audrey, it was scary! I was watching Ellen the last time it happened! I also do stand up comedy, but never fainted, ill!

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        3 years ago from California

        I have never heard of this--but it must be scary! Comedy routine--did someone say comedy routine above?? That should be fabulous!

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        3 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        tony, that's awful - and very scary. Mine is not like a bomb, but a kind of slow dimming and then I am out. You are lucky to be alive. Even in five seconds you could have crashed. glad you are okay.

      • profile image

        Tony 

        3 years ago

        This happened to me last night while listening to a radio comedy show. I was driving at about 70mph and laughing when suddenly it felt like a bomb had gone off near me... Very similar to the feeling of being next to a 76mm gun during my navy days. Luckily I did not completely blackout, but I felt almost unable to move and had to fight to stay in control. The episode probably lasted only 5 seconds but to me it felt like hours.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Jesusmyjoy, thanks for stopping by. Wow is right.

      • jesusmyjoy profile image

        Betty Bolden 

        4 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

        wow wow

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        It won't be until the end of March, Bill. In a class now.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        Never heard of it. But I'll be watching for it. Are you going to post your comedy routine? Hope so! I'm sure it will be terrific.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        thanks Ms Dora, I will.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Lambservant, thank you for explaining Laughing Syncope. It's a new term for me, and a new awareness of "nearly died laughing." Please be careful! Voted up.

      • lambservant profile imageAUTHOR

        Lori Colbo 

        4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Happy New Year Bishop. We need a few more serious people around here. Laughter is good medicine but as seen here in moderation. Thanks for stopping y.

      • Bishop55 profile image

        Rebecca 

        4 years ago from USA

        This is a very good hub. Have you ever seen the show 1000 ways to die? It's on Netflix. Someone has actually died of laughing.

        I kinda wish I'd faint from laughing, only because my demeanor seems to be on the serious side and I know laughter is excellent medicine, obviously in moderate doses though! As your hub has clearly described!

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