Irregular Heartbeat or cardiac arrhythmia is a condition in which the electrical impulses that coordinate your heart beats do not work properly, resulting in too fast or too slow or irregular heartbeat. Symptoms are:
• Fluttering in your chest
• Chest pain
• Racing heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Light headedness or dizziness
• Fainting or near faint feeling
HOW IS IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT DIAGNOSED?
The heart specialist will perform a physical examination, which will include using a stethoscope to listen to the heart. They may also use an EKG machine to examine the electrical impulses of the heart. This will help them determine whether the heart rhythm is abnormal and identify the cause. Other tools that can be used to diagnose include:
• Echocardiogram (EKG or ECG): Also known as a cardiac echo, this test uses sound waves to take pictures of your heart.
• Holter monitor: This monitor is worn for at least 24 hours while you go about your normal activities. It allows your doctor to track changes in your heart’s rhythm throughout the day.
• Stress test: For this test, your doctor will make you walk or jog on a treadmill to see how exercise affects your heart.
HOW IS IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT TREATED?
Treatment is usually not required for irregular heartbeat unless it is affecting the health of the person. Slow heartbeats known as bradycardias can be treated by the use of a pacemaker. Tachycardia or fast heartbeats can be treated by medications.
DID YOU KNOW?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the sale of ephedra, a stimulant sold for weight loss and sports performance, because of concerns about safety. Ephedra has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and some sudden deaths.