In a typical heart rhythm, a bantam bunch of cells at the venous sinus node sends out an electrical signal. The signal then travels through the atrium to the atrioventricular ( AV ) node and into the ventricles, causing them to narrow and pump blood .
A heart cardiac arrhythmia ( uh-RITH-me-uh ) is an irregular blink of an eye. Heart rhythm problems ( heart cardiac arrhythmia ) occur when the electric signals that coordinate the kernel ‘s beats do n’t work by rights. The defective signaling causes the heart to beat besides fast ( tachycardia ), excessively dull ( bradycardia ) or irregularly.
Heart cardiac arrhythmia may feel like a palpitate or racing heart and may be harmless. however, some heart cardiac arrhythmia may cause annoying — sometimes even dangerous — signs and symptoms .
however, sometimes it ‘s convention for a person to have a fast or slow heart pace. For example, the center pace may increase with use or slow down during rest .
Heart cardiac arrhythmia treatment may include medications, catheter procedures, plant devices or operation to control or eliminate debauched, slow or guerrilla heartbeats. A heart-healthy life style can help prevent affection wrong that can trigger certain kernel cardiac arrhythmia .
In general, heart arrhythmias are grouped by the speed of the heart rate. For exemplar :
- Tachycardia (tak-ih-KAHR-dee-uh) is a fast heart. The resting heart rate is greater than 100 beats a minute.
- Bradycardia (brad-e-KAHR-dee-uh) is a slow heartbeat. The resting heart rate is less than 60 beats a minute.
Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
Types of tachycardia include :
- Atrial fibrillation (A-fib). Chaotic heart signaling causes a rapid, uncoordinated heart rate. The condition may be temporary, but some A-fib episodes may not stop unless treated. A-fib is associated with serious complications such as stroke.
- Atrial flutter. Atrial flutter is similar to A-fib, but heartbeats are more organized. Atrial flutter is also linked to stroke.
- Supraventricular tachycardia. Supraventricular tachycardia is a broad term that includes arrhythmias that start above the lower heart chambers (ventricles). Supraventricular tachycardia causes episodes of a pounding heartbeat (palpitations) that begin and end abruptly.
- Ventricular fibrillation. This type of arrhythmia occurs when rapid, chaotic electrical signals cause the lower heart chambers (ventricles) to quiver instead of contacting in a coordinated way that pumps blood to the rest of the body. This serious problem can lead to death if a normal heart rhythm isn’t restored within minutes. Most people who have ventricular fibrillation have an underlying heart disease or have experienced serious trauma.
- Ventricular tachycardia. This rapid, regular heart rate starts with faulty electrical signals in the lower heart chambers (ventricles). The rapid heart rate doesn’t allow the ventricles to properly fill with blood. As a result, the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body. Ventricular tachycardia may not cause serious problems in people with an otherwise healthy heart. In those with heart disease, ventricular tachycardia can be a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment.
Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
Although a heart pace below 60 beats a minute while at rest is considered bradycardia, a low resting heart rate does n’t always signal a trouble. If you ‘re physically fit, your kernel may silent be able to pump enough lineage to the consistency with fewer than 60 beats a moment at rest .
If you have a slow heart rate and your heart is n’t pumping adequate blood, you may have a type of bradycardia. Types of bradycardia include :
- Sick sinus syndrome. The sinus node is responsible for setting the pace of the heart. If it doesn’t work properly, the heart rate may alternate between too slow (bradycardia) and too fast (tachycardia). Sick sinus syndrome can be caused by scarring near the sinus node that’s slowing, disrupting or blocking the travel of impulses. Sick sinus syndrome is most common among older adults.
- Conduction block. A block of the heart’s electrical pathways can cause the signals that trigger the heartbeats to slow down or stop. Some blocks may cause no signs or symptoms, and others may cause skipped beats or bradycardia.
premature heartbeats are extra beats that occur one at a time, sometimes in patterns that alternate with the normal center beat. The supernumerary beats may come from the top chamber of the heart ( premature atrial contractions ) or the bottom chamber ( premature ventricular contractions ) .
A premature pulse may feel like your heart skipped a beat. These extra beats are by and large not concerning, and they seldom mean you have a more good discipline. even, a premature tick can trigger a longer-lasting cardiac arrhythmia, particularly in people with heart disease. occasionally, very frequent previous beats that last for several years may lead to a weak center .
premature heartbeats may occur when resting. sometimes premature heartbeats are caused by stress, arduous use or stimulants, such as caffeine or nicotine .
Heart cardiac arrhythmia may not cause any signs or symptoms. A doctor may notice the irregular heartbeat when examining you for another health reason .
In general, signs and symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia may include :
- A fluttering in the chest
- A racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
- A slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
other symptoms may include :
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Fainting (syncope) or near fainting
When to see a doctor
If you feel like your affection is beating besides fast or besides lento, or it ‘s skipping a beat, make an appointment to see a repair. Seek immediate checkup avail if you have shortness of breath, helplessness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near faint, and chest pain or discomfort .
A type of cardiac arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation can cause a dramatic drop in blood atmospheric pressure. crash can occur within seconds and soon the person ‘s breathe and pulse will stop. If this occurs, follow these steps :
- Call 911 or the emergency number in your area.
- If there’s no one nearby trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), provide hands-only CPR. Push hard and fast on the center of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions a minute until paramedics arrive. You don’t need to do rescue breathing.
- If you or someone nearby knows CPR, start CPR. CPR can help maintain blood flow to the organs until an electrical shock (defibrillation) can be given.
- If an automated external defibrillator (AED) is available nearby, have someone get the device and follow the instructions. An AED is a portable defibrillation device that can deliver a shock that may restart heartbeats. No training is required to operate an AED. The AED will tell you what to do. It’s programmed to allow a shock only when appropriate.
To understand the campaign of heart cardiac arrhythmia, it may be helpful to know how the heart typically works .
How does the heart beat?
The heart is made of four chambers — two upper chambers ( atrium ) and two lower chambers ( ventricles ) .
The kernel ‘s cycle is normally controlled by a lifelike pacer ( the fistula node ) in the properly amphetamine chamber ( atrium ). The fistula node sends electric signals that normally start each pulse. These electrical signals move across the atrium, causing the heart muscles to squeeze ( contract ) and pump lineage into the ventricles .
adjacent, the signals arrive at a cluster of cells called the AV node, where they slow down. This little delay allows the ventricles to fill with blood. When the electric signals reach the ventricles, the chambers contract and pump lineage to the lungs or to the rest of the soundbox .
In a healthy heart, this heart signaling work normally goes smoothly, resulting in a normal pillow affection rate of 60 to 100 beats a moment .
Things that can cause an irregular blink of an eye ( cardiac arrhythmia ) include :
- Current heart attack or scarring from a previous heart attack
- Blocked arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease)
- Changes to the heart’s structure, such as from cardiomyopathy
- High blood pressure
- Infection with COVID-19
- Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- Sleep apnea
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Certain medications, including cold and allergy drugs bought without a prescription
- Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
- Drug abuse
- Stress or anxiety
Things that may increase the risk of kernel arrhythmias include :
- Coronary artery disease, other heart problems and previous heart surgery. Narrowed heart arteries, a heart attack, abnormal heart valves, prior heart surgery, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and other heart damage are risk factors for almost any kind of arrhythmia.
- High blood pressure. This condition increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease. It may also cause the walls of the left lower heart chamber (left ventricle) to become stiff and thick, which can change how electrical signals travel through the heart.
- Congenital heart disease. Being born with a heart condition may affect the heart’s rhythm.
- Thyroid disease. Having an overactive or underactive thyroid gland can raise the risk of irregular heartbeats.
- Obstructive sleep apnea. This condition causes pauses in breathing during sleep. It can lead to a slow heartbeat (bradycardia) and irregular heartbeats, including atrial fibrillation.
- Electrolyte imbalance. Substances in the blood called electrolytes — such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium — help trigger and send electrical impulses in the heart. An imbalance in electrolytes — for example, if they are too low or too high — can interfere with heart signaling and lead to irregular heartbeats.
- Certain drugs and supplements. Some prescription drugs and certain cough and cold medications bought without a prescription can cause arrhythmias.
- Excessive alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can affect the electrical impulses in your heart and can increase the chance of developing atrial fibrillation.
- Caffeine, nicotine or illegal drug use. Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants can cause your heart to beat faster and may lead to the development of more-serious arrhythmias. Illegal drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, may greatly affect the heart and cause many types of arrhythmias or sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation.
Complications depend on the character of cardiac arrhythmia. In general, complications of heart cardiac arrhythmia may include solidus, sudden end and heart failure .
Heart cardiac arrhythmia are associated with an increased gamble of blood clots. If a clot breaks lax, it can travel from the heart to the genius, causing a stroke. Blood thinners can lower the risk of solidus related to atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmia. Your doctor of the church will determine if a blood-thinning medicine is correct for you .
If an cardiac arrhythmia is causing heart failure symptoms, methods to control the heart rate may improve affection function.
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life style changes to reduce the hazard of heart disease may help prevent heart cardiac arrhythmia. A heart-healthy life style includes :
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Staying physically active
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol
- Reducing stress, as intense stress and anger can cause heart rhythm problems
- Using medications as directed and telling your doctor about all the medicines you take, including those bought without a prescription