What is a Heart Rhythm Disorder?
A heart rhythm disorder often referred to as a heart arrhythmia, is an electrical impulse issue with the heart where it tends to beat too fast, too slow, or otherwise inconsistently. The heart may contract abnormally and may require medical intervention if the symptoms of a heart arrhythmia are serious.
What Are Symptoms of a Heart Rhythm Disorder?
Not all cases of heart arrhythmias show overt or any symptoms. However, there are some symptoms that can alert a person to a possible issue. Some of these issues include:
- Persistent chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- The feeling of your heart skipping a beat
- Fluttering in the chest
- Frequently dizzy spells
- The feeling of your heart racing constantly
- Having a slow heartbeat
- Being overly sweaty
What Are The Most Common Heart Rhythm Disorders?
There are a few categories that heart arrhythmias that most heart rhythm disorders fall into. These categories include:
Tachycardias- an overly racing heartbeat
Bradycardias- a slow heartbeat that experiences less than 60 beats per minute
Any of these arrhythmias happen either in the top or bottom chambers of the heart. Arrhythmias can also occur as a result of electrical heart block, atrial fibrillation, SVT,, premature ventricular contractions, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, or Brugada syndrome and other conditions.
Are Heart Rhythm Disorders Fatal?
For the most part, no they are not. They can be medically controlled or treated with procedures so that the patient doesn’t suffer from any symptoms and doesn’t have to worry about the condition of their heart.
That being said, should a serious or severe heart arrhythmia go undetected or untreated by a medical professional, it could possibly become fatal over time.
How To Treat a Heart Rhythm Disorder?
There are a variety of treatments available for those who have heart arrhythmias. For those who have less severe heart rhythm disorder issues, medication may be the go-to route for medical professionals. You may be placed on a variety of medications including:
- Blood thinners
- Calcium channel blockers
- Antiarrhythmic medications
While these medications do not directly correct the irregular electrical impulses in your heart, they can aid in treating arrhythmia symptoms and prevent your arrhythmia from developing and becoming worse.
For those with more severe arrhythmia issues or those who want to directly impact the cause of their arrhythmia, minimally invasive surgery may be an ideal option. The most common surgery performed to rectify a heart arrhythmia is a cardiac ablation. During this procedure, a surgeon will insert a catheter into your body and use either heating or freezing techniques to destroy any abnormal heart tissue that you may have. By doing this, it should improve your arrhythmia or eradicate it entirely.
If ablation is not an option for you, occasionally open-heart surgery may be an option to address your underlying electrical impulse issues. If you are unsure of what option is best for you, consult your physician or cardiologist for their opinion.