A-Fib? Irregular heartbeat?
Our experts are here to help!
Just about everyone experiences a skipped or extra beat now and again.
And the symptoms that may accompany such an event, including palpitations
or dizziness, don't necessarily indicated the severity of the problem.
The heart is resilient. Yet the balance between the heart's electrical
impulses, muscle contraction and blood flow is complex. Coronary artery
disease, structural defects and other conditions can bring about an irregular
heartbeat. Cardiac arrhythmias can make it difficult to enjoy life fully
and can lead to heart attack, heart failure or sudden cardiac death.
Physicians who specialize in the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders
are called electrophysiologists. Symptoms of cardiac arrhythmias include:
- Palpitations - described as missed beats, skips, thumps, butterflies, fluttering
- Dizziness - typically expressed as a sensation of falling rather than a
sensation of spinning.
- Fainting or syncope - complete loss of consciousness with falling or physical collapse.
- Chest pain - often caused by the heart muscle growing tired after an extended
period of rapid beating.
- Shortness of breath - the feeling of not being able to catch your breath.
Treatment for cardiac rhythm disorders
Treatment options for cardiac rhythm disorders vary based upon the type
of arrhythmia. The course of treatment may include:
- Watchful waiting and monitoring
- Medications to control heart rate/rhythm
- Medications to reduce stroke risk
- Cardioversion (a procedure that can return the heart to normal rhythm)
- Ablation (a procedure to disrupt the abnormal electrical pathways in the
heart that cause the rhythm disturbance)
- Pacemaker or implantable defibrillator
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