What is Cardiac Arrhythmia? Arrhythmia is a symptom in which the irregular heartbeat. This does not mean the heart beats too fast or too slowly. This means that the rhythm of the heartbeat is unstable.
Patients may feel the heart beating fast, or suddenly increase the beat, or even beat too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). Or, the sufferer may not feel anything, because the arrhythmia can be “asymptomatic” (no symptoms).
The arrhythmia may fall into an emergency, but Arrhythmia may be harmless. If you feel something unusual happens with your heart rate, call your doctor immediately or ask for help to be taken immediately to the ER so you can find out why it happened.
Causes and types of Arrhythmia
You can have Arrhythmia even if your heart is healthy. Or it could happen because you have:
- Heart disease
- Electrolyte imbalances (such as sodium or potassium) in your blood
- Heart muscle changes
- Injury from a heart attack
- The healing process after heart surgery
Many types of Arrhythmia include:
- Premature atrial contraction. This is an early extra pulse that starts in the upper chamber of the heart, called the atrium. Usually this contraction is harmless and usually does not require treatment.
- Premature ventricular contraction (PVC). This is one of the most common Arrhythmia. Usually this contraction will “skip the heartbeat” that we all feel sometimes. This can be related to stress or too much caffeine or nicotine. But sometimes, PVC can be caused by heart disease or electrolyte imbalance. If you often feel PVC or symptoms related to this, visit a cardiologist (cardiologist).
- Atrial fibrillation. this irregular heart rhythm often causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract abnormally.
- Atrial flutter. These are usually more organized and regular Arrhythmia than atrial fibrillation. This happens most often in heart disease and in the first week after cardiac surgery. This often turns into atrial fibrillation.
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). Rapid heartbeat, usually with a regular rhythm, starting from the upper chambers of the heart, or the ventricles. PSVT suddenly happened and suddenly ended.
- Additional pathway tachycardia. You can get a fast heartbeat because there is an extra pathway between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. It’s like a flurry if there’s a new extra road on the way back outside the usual route, the car will pick up the path so it moves faster. When it happens in the heart, it can cause a rapid heart rhythm, called tachycardia, even very quickly.
- AV nodal reentrant tachycardia. This is another type of rapid heartbeat (tachycardia). This is caused by an additional pathway through the part of the heart called the AV node. This can lead to heart palpitations, instant fainting (syncope), or heart failure. In some cases, you can stop it just by breathing and getting pregnant. Some drugs can also stop this heart rhythm.
- Ventricular Tachycardia (V-tach). A rapid heart rhythm starts from the lower chamber of the heart. Because the heart beats too fast, the heart is not filled with an adequate volume of blood. This can be a serious arrhythmia – especially in people with heart disease – and that may be related to other symptoms.
- Ventricular fibrillation. This occurs when the lower chamber of the heart vibrates and cannot contract or pump blood to the body. This is a medical emergency that should be treated with CPR (cardiac resuscitation) and defibrillation as soon as possible.
- Long QT syndrome. This can lead to potentially dangerous Arrhythmia and sudden death. Doctors can treat it with a drug or device called a defibrillator.
- This is a slow heart rhythm, which may be due to a disturbance in the heart’s electrical system.
- Sinus node dysfunction. This slow heart rhythm is due to a problem with the sinus heart node. Some people with this type of arrhythmia need a pacemaker.
- Heart block. There is a total delay or block on the electrical impulse as it travels from the sinus node of the heart to the lower heart chamber. The heart beats irregularly often more slowly. In serious cases, the patient needs a pacemaker.
Symptoms of Arrhythmia
The arrhythmia may be asymptomatic. As, During a physical examination by examining the heart through a stethoscope or through an electrocardiogram (EKG) device, the Doctor may find an irregular heartbeat.
Symptoms may include
- Palpitations (heart-pounding feeling)
- Throbbing in the chest
- Fainting suddenly (syncope)
- Hard to breathe
- Chest pain or tightness
- Weakness or fatigue (feeling very tired)