An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Although most arrhythmias are benign, some can lead to life-threatening conditions.
Heartbeat irregularities are sometimes referred to as arrhythmias. They can be an emergency, or they might just be harmless. If you feel something weird is happening with your heart rate, it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible so doctors can figure out what’s going on and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
Symptoms of Arrhythmia
Arrhythmia is a medical condition in which the normal rhythm of the heart is disturbed. This can cause heartbeats to be too fast, too slow, or to stop altogether. Arrhythmia can have a number of different causes, including heart disease, electrolyte abnormalities, and certain drugs.
If you are experiencing any of the following heart rhythm problems, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible:
tachycardia (an abnormal heartbeat that is above 120 beats per minute), bradycardia (a heartbeat that is below 60 beats per minute), atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat associated with an increased risk of stroke), and ventricular fibrillation (a heart rhythm that quits beating altogether).
Types of Arrhythmia
A heart arrhythmia is an irregularity in your heart’s rhythm. There are two different types of arrhythmias- ventricular and supraventricular. Ventricular arrhythmias, which occur in the lower chambers of the heart, are called “ventricular.” Supraventricular arrhythmias, which occur in the upper chambers of the heart, are called “supraventricular.” Bradycardia is a heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia is more than 100 beats per minute.
Paroxysmal tachycardia (TPT) is an irregular heart rate that peaks suddenly and then returns to normal, often followed by a feeling of being “stressed.” PTT is often a sign of a serious health condition and should be treated as such.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an irregular heart rate that most often occurs when the heart’s two upper chambers, the atria, beat too fast for pure rhythm. AF can cause shortness of breath, palpitations (a fluttery feeling in the chest), and a sense of dizziness. The best way to prevent AF is to maintain good blood flow to the heart by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding excess stress.
Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) are short, fast contractions of the heart muscle that can be a sign of a serious underlying heart condition. PVCs sometimes cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and a racing heart. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your health care professional immediately.
What Causes Arrhythmia?
People can experience arrhythmias for many reasons. Some common causes include: genetics, heart disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, Raynaud disease, and other conditions.\nArrhythmias can also be caused by recreational drugs, anxiety, and stress.
If you’re experiencing arrhythmia, take these simple steps:
- Identify the cause: There are many possible causes of arrhythmia, so it’s important to identify the root cause. Some common causes include heart disease, common arrhythmias (a group of heart irregularities), Environmental factors (such as stress or smoking), and medications.
- Treat the underlying cause: If you can identify the underlying cause, you can typically treat it with lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both.
- Manage the arrhythmia: Once the underlying cause is treated, managing the arrhythmia may involve lifestyle changes such as exercise, staying hydrated, and avoiding caffeine and other stimulants. If the arrhythmia is severe, medication may be necessary.
What are some Arrhythmia Risk Factors?
There are a few factors that can increase the risk of developing arrhythmias. Interestingly, some of these factors are actually reversible, so if you’re trying to reduce your risk of arrhythmias, it’s important to monitor them closely.
Some of the most common arrhythmia risk factors include:
- Age: Arrhythmias are more common as we age, and the older we get, the more likely we are to experience them.
- Gender: Women are more likely to experience arrhythmias than men, but the difference isn’t always clear-cut.
- Race: People of African, South American, and East Asian descent are more likely to develop arrhythmias than Caucasians.
- History of cardiovascular disease: People with a history of cardiovascular disease are more likely to experience arrhythmias.
- Hobbies and recreational activities: Certain activities, like horseback riding, can increase the risk of arrhythmias.
- Genetics: Certain genes can increase the risk of developing arrhythmias.
EKG: A cardiac arrhythmia is a type of irregular heart rhythm. Most arrhythmias are benign, but some can lead to death. Doctors can detect arrhythmias by looking at an EKG (electrocardiogram).
- Holter monitor: A monitoring device called a Holter monitor is used to detect the occurrence of arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are abnormalities of the heartbeat rhythm.
- Event monitor: One common type of arrhythmia is a heartbeat that is too slow, which is called bradycardia. Bradycardia can cause problems such as chest pain, palpitations, and trouble breathing.
- Implantable loop recorder: There are a few different types of implantable loop recorders (ILRs) that are used to monitor and diagnose arrhythmias. While each ILR has its own specific features and uses, all ILRs function by recording heart rhythms and then transmitting these recordings to a clinician or telemedicine center for analysis.
- Stress test: Overall, people who have a higher level of stress are more likely to have arrhythmias.\n\nOne study found that people with high levels of stress have a decreased flow of blood to their heart which can lead to arrhythmias.\n\nStress can also, cause your heart to work harder and increase your risk of having an arrhythmia.
- Echocardiogram: A Echocardiogram is a type of cardiac imaging that can show problems with the heart. These can include arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), which can be a sign of a health problem.
- Cardiac catheterization: Cardiac catheterization is a procedure that is used to diagnose and treat heart diseases. During cardiac catheterization, a special catheter is inserted into a person’s heart. The catheter allows doctors to measure heart function and treat any heart problems that are detected.
- Electrophysiology study: Electrophysiology is the study of the electrical properties of biological cells and tissues. This can include looking at how cells generate and conduct electrical currents, as well as the effects of electric fields on cells. This can include studying arrhythmias, which are irregularities in the rhythms of the heart.
- Head-up tilt table test: Officers and medical personnel may experience arrhythmias while performing head-up tilt table testing. Pre-existing arrhythmias may worsen while performing this testing, and individuals with arrhythmias or recent cardiac events should not undergo head-up tilt table testing.
Treatment of arrhythmias can be difficult, but it is important to understand the basics of treatment before beginning. The goal of treatment is to restore a normal rhythm to the heart. There are several different types of arrhythmias, and each requires a different approach to treatment. Some arrhythmias can be treated with medications, while others may require surgery. It is important to work with a qualified cardiologist to find the best treatment for you.
Before starting a treatment plan, it is important to understand the different types of arrhythmias and their symptoms.
Arrhythmias are a type of heart disease in which the heart beats out of rhythm. There are many different medicines that can treat arrhythmias.- One of the most common medicines used to treat arrhythmias is digitalis. Digitalis is a medicine that helps to slow down the heart’s rhythm. It is often prescribed to people who have heart problems that cause their heartbeat to be irregular, or to people who have an irregular heartbeat due to an underlying heart condition.
One of the most common types of Arrhythmias is ventricular arrhythmias. Vagal maneuvers are a kind of treatment that can help to control these arrhythmias.
Electrical cardioversion is a treatment that is used to stop arrhythmias. It is a step-by-step process that typically begins with a diagnosis of the arrhythmia and the type of treatment that is necessary.
What is Arrhythmia and what are the different types?
An arrhythmia is a medical condition in which the normal rhythm of the heart is disrupted. There are several different types of arrhythmias, all of which can be treated with electrical cardioversion.
How is electrical cardioversion performed?
In general, electrical cardioversion is conducted using an external generator, which delivers a high-voltage pulse (often between 50 and 100 volts) to the heart. The shock causes the heart to slow and contract, and eventually causes the arrhythmia to stabilize or stop.
Is electrical cardioversion an effective treatment for arrhythmias?
Yes, electrical cardioversion is an effective treatment for arrhythmias. In many cases, it is the first line of treatment for arrhythmias and can be successful in restoring the heart’s normal rhythm.