A Cardiac arrhythmia is a disorder of the heart rate (pulse) or heart rhythm. The heart can beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly. It occurs when the electrical impulses that coordinate the heartbeats don’t work properly which may be life threatening at times. The symptoms of arrhythmias include
• Fast or slow heart beat
• Skipping beats
• Lightheadedness or dizziness
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath
HOW IS CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS DIAGNOSED?
The cardiologist will listen to the heart with a stethoscope and feel the pulse to check blood pressure. The other tests that may be recommended for further diagnosis are electrocardiogram, echocardiography, holter monitor and coronary angiography.
HOW IS CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS TREATED?
Usually, medication and lifestyle changes are prescribed by the cardiologist in order to deal with the issue. Antiarrhythmic medicines as well as anti coagulants and antiplatelet therapy can be used for treatment. Severe cases may require electrical cardioversion with an electric shock to the chest walls or the installation of a pacemaker.
DID YOU KNOW?
In most cases, the condition is not serious but if left unattended, it may culminate into a stroke, cardiac arrest or even heart failure.