- National Institute of Health
Also known as arrhythmias
An arrhythmia is a problem related to the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart may beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. When a heart beats too fast, the condition is called tachycardia. When a heart beats too slowly, the condition is called bradycardia.
Arrhythmias are caused by changes in the tissue and activity of the heart or in the electrical signals that control the heartbeat. These changes can be the result of damage caused by disease, injury, or genetics. Often there are no symptoms, but some people have an irregular heartbeat. You may feel dizzy or have difficulty breathing.
The most common test used to diagnose an arrhythmia is an electrocardiogram (EKG or EKG). Your doctor will perform other tests as needed. He or she may recommend medication, put in a device that can correct an irregular heartbeat, or surgery to repair nerves that are overstimulating the heart. If the arrhythmia isn't treated, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. This can damage the heart, brain or other organs.
You may feel a slow or irregular heartbeat or notice pauses between the heartbeats. If you have palpitations, your heart may miss a beat or notice that it is pounding or beating faster. These are all symptoms of arrhythmia.
The most serious signs and symptoms include:
- weakness, dizziness and vertigo
- fainting or nearly fainting
- difficulty breathing
- blurry sight
Common treatments for arrhythmia include heart-healthy lifestyle changes, medications, surgically implanted devices that control the heart rate, and other procedures that treat abnormal electrical signals in the heart.
Healthy lifestyle changes
Your doctor may recommend that you make the following heart-healthy lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime to reduce the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease that can lead to cardiac arrhythmias.
- Heart healthy eating
- Stop smoking
- Be physically active
- Stress management
- maintain a healthy weight
Your doctor can give you medicine for your arrhythmia. Some of these are used in conjunction with each other or in conjunction with a procedure or a pacemaker. If the dose is too high, medicines to treat arrhythmia may cause an irregular rhythm. This is more common in women.
- Adenosine to slow down a beating heart. Adenosine works quickly to slow down electrical signals. It can cause chest pain, redness, and shortness of breath, but any discomfort usually goes away quickly.
- Atropine to treat a slow heart rate. This medicine may make it difficult to swallow.
- Beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure or a fast heart rate, or to prevent repeated episodes of arrhythmia. Beta-blockers can cause digestive problems, sleep problems and sexual dysfunction, and can make some driving disorders worse.
- Calcium channel blockers to reduce a fast heart rate or the speed at which signals travel. They are usually used to control upper chamber arrhythmias. In some cases, calcium channel blockers can cause ventricular fibrillation. They can also cause digestive problems, swollen feet, or low blood pressure.
- Potassium channel blockers to slow the heart rate. They work by increasing the time it takes heart cells to recover after baking so that they fire or contract less often. Potassium channel blockers can cause low blood pressure or other arrhythmias.
- Sodium channel blockers to block the transmission of electrical signals, extend cells' recovery periods and make cells less excitable. However, these drugs can increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest in people with heart disease.
- Digitalis or digoxin, to treat a fast heartbeat. & Nbsp; This medicine can cause nausea and cause arrhythmias.
- Blood thinners to reduce the risk of blood clots. This helps prevent strokes. Blood thinners pose a risk of bleeding.
If medications aren't treating your arrhythmia, your doctor may recommend one of these procedures or devices.
- Catheter ablation
- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
- Pacemaker (English)
Treatment may also include treating underlying conditions such as electrolyte imbalance, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, or thyroid disease.
Your doctor can use supplements to treat a magnesium or electrolyte deficiency. Electrolytes can also be an alternative to drugs that treat arrhythmia if your doctor is concerned they could cause arrhythmia.
Your doctor may also use certain techniques to lower your heart rate. The exercises stimulate the body's natural relaxation processes. They do this by affecting the vagus nerve, which helps regulate the heart rate. Techniques can include:
- Making you cough or gag (nausea)
- Have them hold their breath and press down, which is called the Valsalva maneuver
- Let him lie down
- Place a towel dipped in ice water on your face
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