Arrhythmia is a medical term that is used to describe a person’s abnormal or irregular heartbeat. The condition does not necessarily mean that a person’s heart beats too fast or too slow.
The condition of arrhythmia occurs when the electrical signals which are responsible for the coordination of heartbeats are functioning properly. The heartbeat can feel fluttering or being skipped. Heart Arrhythmia can produce a lot of symptoms and results. Many types of arrhythmia are generally harmless, and the experience that one goes through depends on the type. However, the condition should not be ignored. It needs proper medical attention.
Causes Of Heart Arrhythmia
Heart Arrhythmia mainly occurs when the electrical system that sends impulses through the heart muscle to signal it to beat is damaged or does not function properly. The electrical system of the heart can be damaged by a variety of factors. Coronary artery disease, heart muscle damage following a heart attack, electrolyte imbalances in the blood, and even heart surgery can end up damaging the heart’s electrical system. Some heart arrhythmias are caused by congenital abnormalities in the electrical system at the time of a person’s birth. Atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular fibrillation, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, long QT syndrome, and ventricular tachycardia are all different types of arrhythmias. Arrhythmia symptoms depend on the type of arrhythmia that one has. They all do not share the same exact symptoms.
Types Of Heart Arrhythmia
There are multiple different types of heart arrhythmia –
Long QT Syndrome – Long QT syndrome is a cardiac rhythm issue that produces fast, disorganized heartbeats in some people. Long QT syndrome can lead to a person fainting, which is potentially fatal. This syndrome needs proper medication and care. It can also happen as a result of genetic predisposition or the use of certain drugs.
Atrial Flutter – Atrial flutter is caused due to a section of the atrium that is not correctly conducting air in the atrium. The process not happening correctly results in a predictable pattern of aberrant cardiac conduction, which then leads to heart arrhythmia. Both flutter and fibrillation can occur in some persons. Atrial flutter is a dangerous arrhythmia type that, if left untreated, can develop into fibrillation and can also be fatal.
Atrial Fibrillation – Atrial Fibrillation is the uneven pounding of the atrial chambers and is almost often accompanied by tachycardia in the heart. Atrial fibrillation is a prevalent arrhythmia condition that affects most people who are well above the age of 65. The chamber fibrillates or quivers, rather than creating a single, forceful contraction, which ends up producing a heartbeat that is very quick in its nature.
Supraventricular Tachycardia – A fast yet rhythmically regular heartbeat is referred to as supraventricular tachycardia. This is a common type of heart arrhinia. A person can have an outbreak of rapid heartbeats that can last anywhere from a few seconds to many hours.
Ventricular Tachycardia – This is a form of heart arrhythmia that causes an abnormally rapid heartbeat by causing aberrant electrical impulses to originate in the ventricles. If the heart has a mark from a prior heart attack, this is a type of arrhythmia that is common to occur. People who have had heart attacks earlier must take care in order to prevent this condition.
Ventricular Fibrillation – Another form of cardiac arrhythmia, this one causes fast, uncoordinated, and fluttering contractions of the ventricles, resulting in an abnormal heart rhythm. Instead of pumping blood into the heart, the ventricles quiver. Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening condition that is frequently associated with heart diseases. Ventricular fibrillation is often triggered by heart attacks.
Heart Arrhythmia Symptoms
Often, heart arrhythmia symptoms can be totally silent. During a regular check-up or after requesting an ECG, a doctor may be able to notice a heart arrhythmia. Even if a person detects symptoms, this does not mean that they are suffering from a life-threatening heart arrhythmia type. Most of them are not that severe, to begin with. However, people with life-threatening arrhythmias may not have any kind of symptoms. It is very important to check up with doctors about your condition. Some of the heart arrhythmia symptoms are –
- Chest Discomfort
- Pounding in Chest
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden Weakness
- Fluttering in chest
- The feeling of skipped heartbeats
Heart Arrhythmia Treatment
The kind and severity of your arrhythmia will determine how you are treated. In certain circumstances and types of arrhythmias, there is no need for therapy or treatments for the condition. Medication, lifestyle modifications, invasive therapy, electrical devices, and surgery are all treatment options for someone who has a heart arrhythmia.
Arrhythmia medicines are used to either convert an arrhythmia to a cardiac or to completely prevent an arrhythmia from occurring in the first place. Other treatments may include blood pressure meds and anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs like warfarin which is a type of blood thinner, or aspirin, which lowers your risk of stroke or blood clots that can be caused by heart arrhythmia.
Heart Arrhythmia Complications
Arrhythmia may not cause active symptoms in some persons. However, medication for the condition is very important as it can prevent stroke and heart failures which can happen due to the condition. The heart is not pumping efficiently in atrial fibrillation. Blood can pool and develop clots as a result of heart arrhythmia. If a clot breaks loose, it may travel to a brain artery and obstruct it, resulting in a potentially deadly blockage or stroke. A stroke can result in brain damage and need immediate medical attention. It can be fatal. In many cases, heart failure can be caused by prolonged tachycardia. When the heart fails, it is unable to provide enough blood to the body’s organs. Heart arrhythmia treatment prevents these complications from happening.
Heart arrhythmia is a condition that cannot be ignored. Even though types of it may be harmless, it still needs to be taken care of to avoid any kind of future complication. If you feel your heart is beating too quickly or slowly, it might be a good idea to visit your doctor and get check-ups done.