Foir many years I have had the coughing and fainting problem. The first time was followed by several years of not having it. Now I have it happen several times in a week. I recover very quickly but I fall down if my wife doesn'catch me. I am 73 years old.
The fainting is due to a sudden lowering of the heart rate due to stimulation of the vagus nerve, which is compressed when a person coughs. This drops the heart rate by twenty to thirty beats per minute.
There is a genetic difference in susceptability to such stimulation.
The vagus nerve also runs near the anal sphincter and when one strains on the toilet, those with sensitive nerves tend to black out.
The best thing to do is to immediately lie down when you have to cough.
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