Do you notice your heart skipping a beat, but not in a good way? What you may be feeling is an irregular heartbeat or an abnormal heart rhythm. It’s important to understand any heart abnormalities and what causes them to behave erratically. Be sure to pay attention to any commonalities you see with yourself and reach out the experts in order to determine a proper course of action.
What it is: An irregular heartbeat is also known as a heart arrhythmia in the medical world. Your heart may be slow, fast or beat at random. These are still arrhythmias, but there are different types of each one. When the electrical patterns that control your heartbeat don’t work as they should, it causes an irregular beat.
Symptoms: There is not always an obvious sign that you have an irregular heartbeat. However, some of the symptoms that you may notice include:- Chest Pain
- A fluttering feeling in the chest
- A rapid heartbeat
- A slow heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
Causes: As there are many different kinds of arrhythmias, there are also many different causes. Some of them to be aware of are:- High blood pressure
- Excess alcohol or caffeine consumption
- Hypo or hyperthyroidism
- A current or prior heart attack
- Sleep apnea
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Types
Any time you have an abnormal heartbeat, you have an abnormal heart rhythm. Although there are many, here are some more common ones to be aware of:
Atrial Fibrillation: This is a fast and irregular heartbeat that originates in the upper chambers of the heart.
Ventricular Tachycardia: This is when the heartbeat in the lower chambers of the heart beats faster than the upper chambers. It occurs when the electrical signals are not working as they should.
Accessory Pathway Tachycardia: Also a quick heart rate, this is when the path to the ventricles (bottom chambers of the heart) and the atria (where the blood enters) is abnormal. This forces the blood to travel too quickly through the heart.
Sick Sinus Syndrome: The sinus node has nothing to do with your nose. It is a group of cells in the upper right atrium. It sets the pace of your heart, acting as a natural pacemaker. When it is not working properly by sending impulses, it can cause the heart rate to be too slow or fast.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have an irregular heartbeat, it is time to see the experts in heart and respiratory conditions. There’s a variety of ways to test this. Allow us to help you diagnose your irregular heartbeat or abnormal rhythms. Our experts know what’s best!