Causes of Unconscious, Unconsciousness, Loss of Consciousness, Blackout

Consciousness is the state of awareness of yourself and the environment. When conscious, you’re aware of your own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings and what not. You’re capable of responding rationally to questions and all your protective reflexes are on the ready, most notably your airway.

Unconscious means a reduction in alertness or awareness. During a loss of consciousness you’re unable to appropriately respond to what’s going on around you. You’ll be unresponsive and not reflexive to activity, touch, sound or other stimuli.

A blackout is your lack of memory during an unconscious state. However, during amnesiaexcessive alcohol consumption or other substance abuse episodes you may blackout, but your consciousness might be maintained.

Changes in awareness can happen without losing consciousness, such as confusion, disorientation or stupor. And being asleep is not the same as unconsciousness. A loud noise or physical stimulation typically awakens you if you’re asleep. Whereas, if you’re unconscious these activities will have no affect.

Unconsciousness is commonly caused by a reduction of blood flow to your brain resulting in a shortage of oxygen. Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness.

There are scads of health conditions and situations that can be a cause for a blacked out unconscious state, like:

Keep in mind that an unconscious person cannot cough nor clear their throat.

After a blackout or unconscious period, you may experience:

If you feel like you’re about to lose consciousness, sit and put your head between your knees or lie down with your legs raised.

Inexplicable unconsciousness or a loss of consciousness for an extended period should be treated as a health emergency.