A heart arrhythmia (uh-RITH-me-uh) is a kind of irregular heartbeat disease. Heart rhythm issues (heart arrhythmias) can happen when the electrical signals that coordinate the heart’s beats don’t work very well.
The faulty indication causes the heart to beat faster (tachycardia), slow too much (bradycardia), or irregularly.
Heart arrhythmias may cause a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless. Meanwhile, heart arrhythmias may bring bothersome, mostly even life-threatening, signals and symptoms.
Although, mostly, it’s ordinary for somebody to have a fast or slow heart rate. For instance, the heart rate may go up with exercise or slow down during sleeping.
Treating heart arrhythmia may include:
- Catheter procedures.
- Implanted devices or surgery to control or relieve fast.
- Slow or irregular heartbeats.
A heart-healthy lifestyle can support preventing heart issues that can trigger typical heart arrhythmias.
Kinds of arrhythmia
Heart arrhythmias are generally divided by the heart rate’s speed. For instance:
- Tachycardia (tak-is-KAHR-dee-uh) is a speedy heart. The resting heart rate is more extensive than 100 beats in a minute.
- Bradycardia (brad-e-KAHR-dee-uh) is a very slow heartbeat. The resting heart rate is small than 60 beats in a minute.
Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
Here are the kinds of tachycardia included in the listed example below:
- Atrial fibrillation (A-fib): Chaotic heart signalling can cause a rapid, uncoordinated heart rate. The condition may be ordinary, but many A-fib episodes can’t stop unless it is treated. A-fib is associated with severe complications like stroke.
- Atrial flutter: Atrial flutter is similar to a-fib, but heartbeats are more organized. Atrial flutter is as well linked to stroke most of the time.
- Supraventricular tachycardia: Supraventricular tachycardia is a broad term that adds arrhythmias that begin in the lower heart chambers (ventricles).
Supraventricular tachycardia can bring episodes of a pounding heartbeat (palpitations) that start and end abruptly.
- Ventricular fibrillation: This kind of arrhythmia can happen when rapid, chaotic electrical signals cause the lower heart chambers (ventricles) to quiver to connect in a coordinated way that pumps blood to the rest of the body. This essential issue could lead to an untimely death if it didn’t restore a normal heart rhythm within minutes. Many individuals with ventricular fibrillation have an underlying heart problem or a severe learned trauma.
- Ventricular tachycardia: This rapid, regular heart rate begins with faulty electrical signs in the lower heart chambers (ventricles). The rapid heart rate doesn’t let the ventricles appropriately fill blood. As an outcome, the heart can’t pump enough blood to the body. Ventricular tachycardia may not cause severe issues in an individual with an otherwise healthy heart. In those with a heart problem, ventricular tachycardia can be a medical emergency that requires instant medical treatment.
Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
We can consider a heartbeat frequency of under 60 beats per minute while resting bradycardia; a small resting heart rate doesn’t likely signal an issue.
If you are physically fit, your heart may still be able to pump excellent blood to the body with little than 60 beats in a minute at rest.
If you have a little heart rate and your heart doesn’t pump good blood, you may have a type of bradycardia. These are the list of bradycardia types below:
- Sick sinus syndrome: The sinus node is responsible for setting the heart’s pace. If it doesn’t work the way it plans, the heart rate might be too slow (bradycardia) and too speedy (tachycardia). Sick sinus syndrome may be caused by scarring close to the sinus node slowing, disrupting, or blocking the travel of compulsion. Sick sinus syndrome is most frequent among older people.
- Conduction block: A block of the heart’s electrical pathways can make the signals that trigger the heartbeats slow down or even stop. Some leagues may cause no signs or symptoms, and others can cause skipped beats or bradycardia.
Premature heartbeats are extra beats that happen one at a time, mostly in patterns that alternate with the regular heartbeat.
The different heartbeats can come from the upper chamber of the heart (unseasonable atrial contractions) or the lower section (unseasonable ventricular contractions).
An unseasonable heartbeat may feel like your heart skipped a beat. These extra beats are generally not regarded and seldom mean you have an essential condition.
However, a premature moment can trigger a longer-lasting arrhythmia, especially in individuals with heart disease. Sometimes, frequent premature beats that last for many years may lead to a weak heart.
Premature heartbeats can happen when resting. Mostly premature heartbeats are caused by stress, strenuous exercise, or stimulants like caffeine or nicotine.
Heart arrhythmias can not cause any signs or symptoms. A doctor can quickly notice the irregular heartbeat when examining you for another health reason.
In general, it may include symptoms of arrhythmias below:
- A fluttering in the chest
- A racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
- A slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- May include another sign below:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Fainting (syncope) or near fainting
When exactly do you need to seek medical support?
If you feel like your heart is pounding more than usual, too slow, or skipping a beat, make an appointment to see your physician. Seek instant medical support if you have shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or even near fainting, and chest pain or discomfort.
A type of arrhythmia called ventricular fabrication can cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure. Collapse can happen within seconds; soon, the person’s breathing and pulse will stop. If this happens, follow the steps below:
Dial 911 or the exigency number in your area or country. But it is excellent to see your doctor before it worsens or leads to emergency action.
Cause of arrhythmia
Although to understand the causes of heart arrhythmia, it may be good to know how the heart typically works.
How does the heartbeat?
Two atria (upper chambers) and two lower chambers comprise the heart’s four chambers (ventricles).
The heart’s rhythm is ordinary, powered by a natural pacemaker (the sinus node) in the right upper chamber (atrium).
The sinus node sends electrical signals that generally begin each heartbeat. These electrical signals can move across the atria, causing the heart muscles to squeeze (contract) and pump blood into the ventricles.
However, the signals come from a cluster of cells named the AV node, where they slow down. This slight delay lest the ventricles fill with blood; when the electrical signals outstretch, the chambers and ventricles constrict to pump blood to the lungs or the rest of the body.
In a healthy heart, this heart-signalling process usually goes smoothly, resulting in a simple resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats in minutes.
These are the things that can cause an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) include:
- Current heart problem or scarring from a previous attack
- Blocked arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease)
- Changes to the hearts structure, like from cardiomyopathy
- High blood pressure
- Infection with COVID-19
- Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- Sleep apnea
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Typical medications, which include cold and allergy doses bought without a prescription
- Alcohol or caffeine
- Drug abusing
- Stree or anxiety
What are the risk factors of arrhythmia?
Things that may grow the risk of heart arrhythmias are included below:
- Coronary artery, another heart disease, and previous heart surgery
- High blood pressure
- Congenital heart problem
- Thyroid problem
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Certain drugs and supplements
- Excessive alcohol
- Caffeine, nicotine, or illegal drug using
Complications on arrhythmia
Complications rely on the kind of arrhythmia. However, heart arrhythmia complications can include stroke, sudden death, and heart failure.
Heart arrhythmia was associated with an increased risk chance of blood clots. If a clot breaks loose, it can move from the heart to the brain, causing a stroke.
Blood thinners can decrease the risk of stroke related to atrial fibrillation and another arrhythmia. Your medical guide will determine if a blood-thinning medication is excellent for you.
If an arrhythmia is causing heart failure signs, methods to control the heart rate can improve heart function.
How to prevent arrhythmia
Changing lifestyles may reduce the chance of heart problems and prevent heart arrhythmias. A heart-healthy lifestyle is included below:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Staying physical active
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Stop smoking
- Limit or stop caffeine and alcohol
- Reduce stress, as intense stress and anger can also cause heart rhythm disease
- Use medications as directed and tell your physician about all the medicines you take, which include those bought without a prescription.