Sinus Headaches

An Overview Of Carotid Sinus Hypersensitivity


Carotid sinus is an integral part of your internal carotid artery the main artery of head and neck region responsible for blood circulation to your brain. A condition when the carotid sinus is oversensitive to manual stimulation is called carotid sinus hypersensitivity or carotid sinus syncope. Manual stimulation of the carotid sinus  results in a considerable change of heart rate and blood pressure. This condition usually afflicts  the elderly male population.

The manual stimulation of carotid sinus occurs when a person moves his head or looks upwards or wears a tight collar. In this case of hypersensitivity the patients feel dizziness or syncope or pre-syncope. Doctors detect carotid sinus hypersensitivity when a massage of carotid sinus sources a pause of heart beat more than three seconds or more along with the fall of systolic pressure to 50 mg Hg.

This problem predominantly affects the older class of people and often helps in treating neurocardiogenic syncope or unexplained falls. The exact mechanism of CSH is still unknown. Yet medical science have evaluated three types of carotid sinus hypersensitivity-

1. The first one is very common which is found among 70-75% of the patients in which the heart rate decreases considerably. It’s called cardioinhibitory CSH.

2. The second one is found in about 5 to 10% of the patients. This is called vasodepressor CSH where the vasomotor tone decreases without any change of heart rate.

3. The third type of CSH is called a mixed CSH where both vasomotor tone and heart rate changes. It’s found in about 20-25% of the patients diagnosed with CSH.

Causes of CSH:
Some of the basic causes of CSH are hypertension, increasing age, coronary artery diseases and dementia.

Treatment for CSH:
The treatment of CSH depends on the severity, frequency, and symptoms of the patients. The doctors decide what treatment would be suitable for you. It is up to the doctor to decide if medical treatment is sufficient or surgery is required. The condition is totally treatable and in case you feel you are afflicted with this condition then it is highly advisable to consult your physician.