June 09 23:16 2019 Print This Article

Arrhythmia is any disorder of your heart rate or heart rhythm, such as beating too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly. A normal heart rate is 50 to 100 beats per minute. Arrhythmias and abnormal heart rates don’t necessarily occur together. Arrhythmias can occur with a normal heart rate, or with heart rates that are slow.

Arrhythmias can also occur with rapid heart rates. In the United States more than 850,000 people are hospitalized for an arrhythmia each year. Arrhythmias are common and usually harmless. Most people have occasional, irregular heartbeats that may feel like a skipped, fluttering or racing heart. However, some heart arrhythmias may cause bothersome sometimes even life-threatening signs and symptoms. Advances in medical technology have added new treatment methods to the procedures that doctors may use to try to control or eliminate arrhythmias. In addition, because troublesome arrhythmias are often made worse or are even caused by a weak or damaged heart, you may be able to reduce your arrhythmia risk by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Arrhythmias are abnormal rhythms of the heart. Arrhythmias cause the heart to pump blood less effectively. The heart has four chambers. The top two are the atria, and the lower two are the ventricles. Normally the heartbeat starts in the right atrium when a special group of cells sends an electrical signal. (These cells are called the sinoatrial or SA node, the sinus node or the heart’s “pacemaker.”) This signal spreads throughout the atria and to the atrioventricular (A-V) node. The A-V node connects to a group of fibers in the ventricles that conduct the electrical signal. The impulse travels down these specialized fibers to all parts of the ventricles. The electrical signal must follow this exact route for the heart to pump properly.

Causes of Arrhythmias

In many cases, the cause of an arrhythmia is unknown. There are factors however. That may contribute to arrhythmias. For example, coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, excessive use of alcohol and drugs, and the use of some over the counter medications and herbal supplements have been implicated in arrhythmias. In addition, Stress and Caffeine appears to cause problems in some people.

  • Alcohol.
  • Tobacco use.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Caffeine.
  • Stress.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • Typhoid fever.
  • Cocaine.

Signs and Symptoms of Arrhythmias

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

Symptoms of an arrhythmia include a fast heartbeat, pounding or fluttering chest sensations, skipping a heartbeat, “flip-flops,” dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

  • Sweating.
  • Paleness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fainting.
  • Dizziness.
  • A slow heartbeat.

Treatment for Arrhythmias

Treatment of arrhythmia depend on the type of arrhythmia, the patients age, physical condition and age.  Methods are available for prevention of arrhythmia. These methods include relaxation techniques to reduce stress , limit intake of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and stimulant drugs. Many arrhythmias require no treatment, they are naturally controlled by the body’s immune system. However if it is  necessary that arrhythmias must be controlled, they can be controlled by drugs, Cardioversion, Automatic implantable defibrillators or an Artificial pacemaker.

  • There are various types of medications which may be used to treat arrhythmias. If your child’s physician chooses to use medication, the decision of which medication to use will be determined by the type of arrhythmia, other conditions which may be present, and other medications already being used by your child.
  • In this procedure, an electrical shock is delivered to the heart through the chest to stop certain very fast arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, or sinus tachycardia. The patient is connected to an ECG monitor which is also connected to the defibrillator. The electrical shock is delivered at a precise point during the ECG cycle to convert the rhythm to a normal one.
  • Artificial Pacemaker.
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