Neurocardiogenic syncope, or vasovagal syncope, is a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure resulting in reduced blood flow to the brain. The sudden lack of blood flow to the brain may cause a fainting spell or syncope. The fainting may also result in dangerous falls which could injure the body. Once the individual comes to, they may experience confusion, lightheadedness, fatigue, blurred vision, or nausea. These fainting spells are often triggered by dehydration, overheating, standing for extended durations, intense pain, or emotional stress, but can also occur without any known triggers.
If medical treatment is unable to control or adequately regulate these symptoms, those who suffer from neurocardiogenic syncope may find difficulty performing daily duties at work or even maintaining regular attendance. Reasonable work restrictions may include limitations on standing for prolonged periods, working around hazards or moving machinery, working in extreme heat or cold, socially stressful environments, or performing jobs that require complex or detailed tasks. While Social Security Administration may find the individual could work other occupations within these parameters, the vocational rules make it easier to approve claimants who are age 50 and above, especially if they have never had a simple, sedentary job. Even under a restriction to sedentary work, most vocational experts will testify that the worker needs to keep regular attendance in order to maintain gainful employment.
If an individual with neurocardiogenic syncope is seeking disability benefits, it is often helpful to have a doctor outline the claimant’s medical limitations in writing. Although medical opinions from a treating source are not assigned controlling weight or special significance, Social Security Administration must consider and address all the available evidence on a disability claim. A claimant may also consult with an attorney specializing in disability benefits to guide them through the application process.