Heart arrhythmia is a heart disease that develops when the electrical signals responsible for coordinating heartbeats do not function properly. In other words, heart arrhythmia implies an irregular heartbeat. Abnormal electrical signals make the heartbeat too fast, too slow, or irregular. However, a fast or slow heart rate during exercise or sleep is normal. Heart arrhythmia is usually harmless but can lead to severe symptoms and complications if it is highly irregular or caused by a damaged heart.
Among the Indian population, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias are major contributors to non-communicable diseases. In fact, almost 40,000 to 50,000 heart failure or heart arrhythmia patients receive interventional device therapies . These include radiofrequency ablation, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), and cardiac resynchronization therapy [2, 3]. Read on to know about heart arrhythmia causes, symptoms, types, and treatments.
Additional Read: Congenital Heart Disease
This condition may be caused by any interruption to the electrical impulses responsible for stimulating heart contractions. There are several factors that may lead a heart to work abnormally. These include:
A heart arrhythmia may not cause any symptoms. Your doctor may diagnose it by reading your pulse, listening to heartbeats or through diagnostic tests. These include electrocardiogram, Holter monitor, event monitor, echocardiogram, stress test, and others. If you develop any symptoms, they may include the following:
There are several categories of heart arrhythmias.
The treatment for heart arrhythmia depends on its severity. In some cases, treatment may not be required. For cases which need intervention, treatment options include medications, invasive therapies, electrical devices, lifestyle changes, and surgery.
Doctors usually prescribe antiarrhythmic drugs to convert the condition into normal sinus rhythm or to prevent it. They may also recommend taking heart rate-control drugs, anticoagulants, or antiplatelet drugs to reduce the risk of blood clots. Some medications to control heart arrhythmia include adenosine, atropine, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, digoxin, potassium channel blockers, and sodium channel blockers.
Some modifications can reduce the risk of developing heart arrhythmia. These include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, and avoiding stimulants and certain activities that trigger it.
Use of special catheters to render bands of vein tissue.
If heart arrhythmia cannot be managed with medications or nonsurgical procedures, your doctor may suggest arrhythmia surgery. This is also done if you need valve or bypass surgery to address other heart diseases. Surgeons use the modified maze surgical procedures to treat atrial fibrillation.
Additional Read: Heart Attack Symptoms
To prevent the risk of heart disease like heart arrhythmia, make sure you take the necessary precautions. This includes monitoring blood pressure rates, eating a high blood pressure diet, and seeking timely medical help. Get doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health by conveniently booking an online or in-clinic appointment. You can also book health tests including blood tests and heart tests using the platform.
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