An Heart arrhythmia refers to a heart condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. In individuals with an arrhythmia, the heart may beat faster or slower than usual. Several underlying factors may contribute to this abnormal heart rhythm, and the treatment approach is determined by the root cause of the condition.
Fluttering and racing hearts may be symptoms of heart arrhythmias. However, heart arrhythmias’ signs and symptoms can be bothersome- sometimes even life-threatening. There are times, however, when a person’s heart rate is fast or slow. As an example, the heart rate may increase when exercising or slow down when sleeping.
Dr. Ravinder Singh Rao may recommend medications, catheter procedures, implanted devices, or surgery to control or eliminate fast, slow or irregular heartbeats. By living a heart-healthy lifestyle, you will be able to prevent certain heart arrhythmias from developing.
What is Arrhythmia? Different Types of Arrhythmia
An arrhythmia, also known as dysrhythmia, refers to a condition characterized by an abnormal or irregular heartbeat. This means that the heart may beat too fast, too slow, or in an erratic pattern. It is important to monitor your heart health and seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of an heart arrhythmia, as it can lead to further complications if left untreated.
Different types of Arrhythmia:
- Supraventricular arrhythmias, which originate in the atria or upper chambers of the heart, are referred to as “supra” meaning above, and “ventricular” pertains to the lower chambers of the heart or ventricles.
- Ventricular arrhythmias, on the other hand, begin in the ventricles or lower chambers of the heart.
- Bradyarrhythmias are characterized by a slow heart rhythm, which may be due to an underlying heart conduction system disease, such as the sinoatrial (SA) node, atrioventricular (AV) node, or HIS-Purkinje network. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of heart arrhythmia or have a history of heart disease.
Heart Arrhythmias are generally classified according to the speed of the heartbeat. For instance:
(Tachycardia Arrhythmias) Fast heartbeat
Tachycardia refers to a fast heartbeat. This is the rate at which your heart beats at rest. There are several types of tachycardia. So, these are:-
- A-fib (atrioventricular fibrillation). Rapid, uncoordinated heart rates are caused by chaotic signaling in the heart. Some episodes of A-fib may not stop unless treated, but others may be temporary. There are serious complications associated with A-fib, such as stroke.
- They were fluttering in the atrium. A-fib is similar to atrial flutter, but the heartbeats are more regular. Strokes are also associated with atrial flutter.
- Tachycardia supraventricular. Supraventricular tachycardia is an arrhythmia that starts above the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).
- Ventricular fibrillation (VF). Arrhythmias of this type occur when rapid and chaotic electrical signals cause the lower heart chambers (ventricles) to flutter instead of contracting in a coordinated way to pump blood throughout the body.
- Tachycardia ventricular. Faulty electrical signals in the lower heart chambers (ventricles) are responsible for this rapid, regular heart rate.
Because of the rapid heartbeat, the ventricles cannot appropriately fill with blood.
Bradycardia Arrhythmias (slow heartbeat)
A slow heartbeat is called bradycardia. This is when your heart beats below 60 beats per minute. Despite being considered bradycardia, a low resting heart rate may not signal a serious problem if a heart rate falls below 60 beats per minute while at rest. At rest, your heart can pump enough blood to the body even if it beats less than 60 beats per minute.
- If your heart isn’t pumping enough blood and you have a slow heart rate, you may have a form of bradycardia. These types of bradycardia include:
- The sick sinus syndrome. It is the sinus node that regulates the heart’s rhythm. It may be too fast (tachycardia) and too slow (bradycardia) if it doesn’t function properly. Scarring near the sinus node can cause sick sinus syndrome because it slows, disrupts, or blocks impulses. People over 60 are more likely to suffer from sick sinus syndrome.
- Block of conduct. Heart electrical pathways can be blocked, slowing or stopping the signals that trigger heartbeats. One block may not cause symptoms, while another may cause skipped beats or bradycardia.
What are the Symptoms of an Arrhythmia?
Sometimes, an heart arrhythmia can occur without any noticeable symptoms, and you may be unaware of its presence. A medical professional can detect an irregular heartbeat through various methods such as taking your pulse, listening to your heart, or conducting diagnostic tests. However, if symptoms do occur, they may manifest in the following ways:
- A flutter in the chest doing “flip-flops”
- Heartbeats that race (tachycardia)
- The slowing of the heart rate (bradycardia)
- Pain in the chest
- Breathing problems
The following more symptoms may also occur in heart arrhythmia:
- Weakness or fatigue (feeling very tired)
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Near fainting or fainting (syncope)
What Causes Arrhythmias?
- Coronary artery disease, which occurs when the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood become narrowed or blocked.
- Irritable tissue in the heart, which can be due to genetic or acquired causes, and can disrupt the normal electrical signals that regulate the heart’s rhythm.
- High blood pressure, which can put added stress on the heart and contribute to the development of arrhythmias.
- Changes in the heart muscle, such as cardiomyopathy, which can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively.
- Valve disorders, which can interfere with blood flow through the heart.
- Electrolyte imbalances in the blood, such as low levels of potassium or sodium, which are essential for proper heart function.
- Injury from a heart attack, which can damage the heart muscle and disrupt the electrical signals that regulate the heartbeat.
- The healing process after heart surgery, which can cause temporary disruptions in heart rhythm.
- Other medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, sleep apnea, or drug and alcohol abuse, which can affect heart function and increase the risk of arrhythmias.
Seeing a doctor when necessary
Make an appointment to see Heart Valve Expert if you experience fast or slow heartbeats or if the beat is skipping. Moreover, if you are experiencing shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near fainting, and chest discomfort or pain, seek medical attention immediately. So, always connected with heart doctor and get information Is Arrhythmia is a Serious Disease?
Ventricular fibrillation is a type of Arrhythmia that causes a drastic drop in blood pressure. It can happen in seconds for a person to collapse, and soon their breath and pulse will cease. When this happens, follow these steps:
- Provide hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if no trained personnel are nearby. While you wait for paramedics, apply 100 to 120 compressions a minute, hard and fast, in the center of the chest. It is not necessary to breathe through the mouth.
- If you or anyone nearby knows CPR, begin CPR. Until an electrical shock (defibrillation) can be given, CPR can help maintain blood flow to the organs.
- The nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) should be obtained and followed. A Defibrillator is a portable device that delivers a shock that may restart a heartbeat. The shock is only delivered when it is necessary. Operating an AED does not require any training. Follow the instructions.
What Causes the Heart to Beat?
However, four chambers make up the human heart- two upper chambers, or atria, and two lower chambers, or ventricles. In the right upper chamber (atrium), a natural pacemaker controls the heartbeat. Electrical signals from the sinus node trigger the heartbeat.
Moreover, as a result of these electrical signals moving across the atria, the heart’s muscles contract, causing blood to flow into the ventricles. Is Arrhythmia is a Serious Disease?
Electrical signals stimulate the ventricles, which contract and pump blood away from the body to the lungs or other parts. In turn, the blood fills the ventricles. In the AV node, the signals slow down after reaching a cluster of cells.
Heart signaling usually proceeds smoothly in healthy hearts, resulting in an average resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute. So, arrhythmias can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- The current or previous scars of a heart attack
- Coronary artery disease (coronary artery blockage)
- A condition where the heart’s structure is altered, such as cardiomyopathy
- Their blood pressure is high.
- An infection with COVID-19
- Hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism)
- Snoring or sleep apnea
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
- Medications without a prescription, including cold and allergy medications
- Caffeine or alcohol consumption that is too high
- Addiction to drugs
- Anxiety or stress
Risk Factors of heart Arrhythmias
Several factors can increase the risk of heart arrhythmias, including:
- Heart problems, cardiac surgery, and coronary artery disease. There are many risk factors for almost any type of Arrhythmia, including narrowed arteries, heart attacks, abnormal heart valves, Congestive hear failure, cardiomyopathy, and other heart problems.
- Heart disease is more likely to develop as a result of hypertension. Hypertension can also cause the walls of the left lower heart chamber (left ventricle) to become stiff and thick, changing how electrical signals travel through the heart.
- A congenital heart defect. Heart rhythm can be affect by congenital heart defects.
- The disease of the thyroid. It is possible to have an irregular heartbeat if your thyroid gland is overactive or underactive.
- An obstructive sleep apnea. Sleeping pauses are common in this condition. Among the complications are slow heartbeats (bradycardia) and irregular heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation.
- Unbalanced electrolytes. Electrical impulses in the heart are triggered and sent by electrolytes in the blood, like potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. In the case of an electrolyte imbalance – for example, high or low levels – it can cause irregular heartbeats.
- Supplements and certain drugs. Also, various prescription medications and some nonprescription cough and cold medicines can cause arrhythmias.
- Drinking too much alcohol can affect your heart’s electrical impulses and increase your risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
- Use of nicotine, caffeine, or illegal drugs. Amphetamines and cocaine, which are illegal drugs, may significantly affect the heart, causing various arrhythmias or sudden death caused by ventricular fibrillation. Also, you may develop more severe arrhythmias if you take caffeine, nicotine, or other stimulants.
Problems of Arrhythmia
Heart Arrhythmias can lead to a variety of complications. A stroke, heart failure, or sudden deaths are arrhythmias’ complications. As a result of heart arrhythmias, blood clots are more likely. Moreover, a clot can break free from the heart and travel to the brain, causing strokes. Blood thinners can reduce stroke risk associated with atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.
Your doctor prescribes blood-thinning medications if they are appropriate for you. Controlling the heart rate may help improve heart function in patients suffering from Arrhythmia.
Preventions of Arrhythmia
Prevent heart Arrhythmias by reducing heart disease risks through lifestyle changes. These include:
- Dietary habits that promote heart health
- We are maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Obesity management
- Smoking is not allow.
- Caffeine and alcohol should be limited or avoid.
- Stress and anger may cause heart rhythm problems, so reducing them is essential.
- Make sure that you take your medications as prescribed, including those purchased without a prescription, and tell your doctor about all your medications
The heart can exhibit various forms of irregularities in its beat, some of which are categorized as arrhythmias and may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, if you do experience symptoms such as heart palpitations or unusual fatigue, it’s crucial to seek medical attention from your healthcare provider. They can assess your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your unique situation.
Additionally, you can take proactive steps to improve your heart health by making necessary lifestyle modifications. Simple changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and reducing stress, can make a significant difference in preventing or managing arrhythmias.
A premature heartbeat is an extra beat that occurs one after another, sometimes in alternating patterns with regular heartbeats. Premature atrial contractions or premature ventricular contractions can cause extra beats. When resting, a premature heartbeat may occur. Premature heartbeats can occasionally be cause by stress, exercise, and stimulants, such as nicotine and caffeine.
Hence, contact Dr. Ravinder Singh Rao to schedule an appointment. Knowing how the heart usually works may help us understand the cause of heart arrhythmias. Also, get more information about Is Arrhythmia is a Serious Disease?