Irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia is a condition where the heart beats irregularly, that is, either too fast or too slow. It happens when electric signals that controls the heartbeats are not functioning properly. Irregular heartbeats symptoms may not be pronounced and the condition is most times not dangerous. However, when the irregular heartbeat causes includes results from a damaged heart, or another terrible condition, it could be dangerous. Read our article on how to keep your heart healthy.
Irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia could be fast(tachycardia), slow(bradycardia), fibrillation or flutter or premature contraction. Irregular heartbeat may however not be a sign of illness, it becomes one when the heart stops pumping blood with sufficient oxygen to the body.
Symptoms of arrhythmia
Irregular heartbeats generally has no signs or symptoms to notice. People with dangerous irregular heartbeats generally do not experience any symptoms, those who experience symptoms are the ones whose condition are not dangerous.
When the irregular heartbeat is fast, the symptoms includes dizziness, breathlessness, lightheadedness, chest pain, fainting, sudden feeling of weakness etc. When it is bradycardia (slow heartbeat), the symptoms are chest pain, dizziness, tiredness, lightheadedness, lack of concentration, palpitations, breath shortness, fainting, sweating etc.
If it is atrial fibrillation, the symptoms are dizziness, chest pain, syncope, weakness, breathlessness.
Causes Of Irregular Heartbeat
A person with a healthy heart has between 60 to 100 heart beats every minute while at rest. When you are engaged in sporting activities, it may cause the beating to become faster, but very healthy people usually have beats closer to 60 times in a minute. For example, healthy sportsmen or athletes do have 60 beats/minutes at rest time.
Irregular heat beats can be also be by other medical conditions or an unhealthy lifestyle.
Irregular heartbeat causes includes:
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Heart diseases
- Mental stress
- Use of supplements or herbal treatments
- Changes in the structure of the heart
How to treat Irregular heartbeat
As earlier said, you do not need to treat irregular heartbeat when it is not a serious condition, it is a condition that can occur due to the normal activities carried out every day. Simply put, treatment is only needed when the symptoms are severe or occurs too frequently.
The treatment of irregular heartbeat depends on the type it is. Different methods are used for the different types. If the irregular heartbeat is caused by another medical condition, that condition has to be treated first. A doctor should be seen when you feel the symptoms, however, we have also listed the treatment methods here for your knowledge.
Treatment of slow irregular heartbeat (bradycardia)
Slow heartbeat is treated by the use of a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a device which is placed under the skin of the chest to help in controlling the abnormal rhythms. It makes use of electrical pulses to control the heart to beat normally.
Treatment of fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Vagal Maneuvers(movements you can perform to lower the rate of heart beat)
- Use of medicines
- Ablation therapy
- Implantable cardioverter
- Maze procedure (surgical process)
- Coronary bypass surgery
- Cardioversion (Use of electric shock or medication to cause a reset for the heart)
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
In conclusion, do all your best to stay healthy and keep your heart healthy to prevent severe irregular heartbeat. Read the articles below to learn more: