Heart Rhythm Disorder (Arrhythmia)

An arrhythmia is when your heart doesn't beat normally. It could be too fast, too slow, or irregular. Some heart rhythm disorders are harmless, while others can be serious and have symptoms. 

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    What is Heart Rhythm Disorder?

    Cardiac arrhythmia is an abnormality in the heart rhythm, which is a fast, slow or irregular heartbeat rhythm due to the electrical activity in the heart not working correctly.

    Heart arrhythmia can be life-threatening and, therefore, require urgent medical attention. Heart rhythm disturbances are classified as supraventricular, ventricular, and bradyarrhythmias.

    What are the symptoms of heart rhythm disorder?

    The most common symptoms of heart rhythm disorder are palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, pauses and irregular heartbeat, pressure and pain in the chest area, and fatigue.

    What are the causes of heart rhythm disorder?

    The most common causes of heart rhythm disturbances are smoking, alcohol, tobacco, consumption of caffeine-containing beverages, intense exercise, infections, fear and stress, genetic factors, coronary artery disease, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid diseases, various cold and allergy medications, and substance abuse.

    How is Heart Rhythm Disorder Diagnosed?

    To diagnose heart rhythm disorder, the person's medical history and symptoms are first questioned, and a specialist doctor performs a physical examination used in the diagnosis of heart rhythm disorder is as follows:

    • Electrocardiogram (ECG): it measures the heart's electrical activity and the timing and duration of each electrical phase of the heartbeat

    • Rhythm Holter device: A Holter monitor, a portable ECG device, is worn for one or more days to record the heart's electrical activity during the day.

    • Implantable loop recorder: In cases where symptoms are infrequent, an event recorder may be placed under the skin in the chest area to continuously record the heart's electrical activity and detect irregular heart rhythms.

    • Electrophysiological testing: In this test, also called an EP study, the doctor inserts catheters tipped with electrodes through the blood vessels into different heart parts. After the electrodes are placed, the propagation of electrical impulses through the heart is mapped and evaluated for the diagnosis of heart rhythm disorder.

    How is Arrhythmia treated?

    Medications are the primary treatment for heart rhythm disorders. They can slow down a fast heartbeat and restore normal rhythm. These types of drugs are called "antiarrhythmics".

    In cases where medications fail to treat heart rhythm disorders, patients may undergo ablation. Ablation is a procedure to prevent and eliminate abnormal electrical signals to correct abnormal heart rhythms.

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