An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat or abnormal heartbeat rhythm. The heart may beat too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). It occurs if the heart skips a beat or has an extra beat. Arrhythmias are common. For most people, they are minor and not serious. However, they can be severe or life-threatening if you have other heart problems.
Types of arrhythmia commonly seen are as follows,
- Atrial fibrillation: Heart beats irregularly and too fast. It can increase your risk of stroke.
- Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia: Heart has episodes of beating too fast. It is not severe.
- Ectopic beats: Heart has an extra beat. Seek treatment if you have several extra beats in a row and/or other heart problems.
- Ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation: The heart beats too fast. It require immediate treatment.
How bad is my arrhythmia?
Mild: Heart is skipping a beat or heart is beating too fast (palpitations).
Most of the time, mild arrhythmia can be safely managed at home.
Moderate: You may experience sweating, irregular heartbeats and fluttering in your chest. It can sometimes be safely managed at home or may require the attention of medical team.
Severe: You may feel dizzy or light-headed, shortness of breath, fainting and heavy chest pain. It may be an emergency and require additional medical treatments or hospitalization in some cases.
How to manage mild arrhythmia?
- Limit alcohol use and stop smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
- Avoid or limit caffeine, which is in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate.
- Work with your doctor to manage heart disease or other health problems.
How to manage moderate to severe arrhythmia?
Consult your physician right away if you have
What causes arrhythmia?
- Family history
- Certain type of cancer treatments ( chemo drugs, targeted therapy drugs)
- Lifestyle habits (alcohol, smoking)
- Lung disease
- Kidney disease
- Congenital heart disease (CHD)
- Abnormal heart valve function
- Heart failure.
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