Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat in which one’s heart beats too slowly, rapidly, or with a distinctive pattern. The types of arrhythmia include;
- Tachycardia: When one’s heart beats faster than usual, it is known as tachycardia.
- Bradycardia: When one’s heart beats too slowly, it is known as bradycardia.
Symptoms of Arrhythmia: There are many symptoms of arrhythmia. Some of them are given below:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Cardiac arrest
- Shortness of breath
Causes of Arrhythmia: The following things can cause arrhythmia:
- Blocked arteries in the heart
- Sudden heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Infection with coronavirus
- Sleep apnea
- Drugs intake
Risk Factors: Following are the risk factors associated with Arrhythmia:
- Problems in heart, heart surgery, and coronary artery disease
- Increase in blood pressure
- Congenital heart disease
- Thyroid disease
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Certain drugs and supplements
- Excessive alcohol
- Use of Caffeine, nicotine, or illegal drug
Types of Arrhythmia: There are five significant types of arrhythmia, which are given below:
- Ventricular arrhythmia: In this type, the heartbeat rate is faster than usual.
- Ventricular tachycardia: It is an irregular heartbeat caused by erratic electrical signals in the lower chamber of the ventricles.
- Premature ventricular beats: In this condition, an individual feels the heart skipping beats that can be caused by stress, exercise, nicotine, or caffeine.
- Bradycardia: In this type, the heart beats more slowly than usual. A heart rate is below 60 beats a minute.
- Supra ventricular arrhythmia: It is an irregular heartbeat that initiates in the lower heart chamber.
Complications: The complications of arrhythmia depend on its type. Generally, it can cause stroke, sudden death, and heart failure. In arrhythmia, the risk of blood clots can be increased. When this clot is broken, it can travel from the heart to the brain and begin a stroke.
Preventions: Heart arrhythmia can be prevented by reducing the risk of heart disease. A healthy lifestyle helps to reduce it, which:
- Eat a healthy food
- Stay physically active
- Maintain body weight
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Reduce stress level
- Use medications according to the doctor’s prescriptions
Diagnosis: To diagnose a heart arrhythmia, the doctor can ask specific questions about one’s symptoms and take his medical history. Moreover, the following tests can be conducted to diagnose heart arrhythmia:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): Some electrodes determine the heart’s electrical activity attached to the heart, legs, or arms during an ECG. It can measure the timing of the electrical period in a heartbeat.
- Holter monitor: This is a moveable ECG appliance used to record one’s heart’s activity in a daily routine.
- Event recorder: This device is used to detect sporadic arrhythmia. Ones can press a button when symptoms occur. It can be worn for a more extended period.
- Echocardiogram: It is an ultra-portable device placed on the chest and uses sound waves to produce pictures of the heart’s structure, motion, and size.
- Implantable loop recorder: It records the heart’s electrical activities and detects heart rhythms.
- Stress test: Some arrhythmia is activated by exercise. During the stress test, the heart’s activity is monitored.
Treatments: Many treatments can be used to treat arrhythmia. Some of them are given below:
- Vagal maneuvers: It is a breathing method that allows one to breathe vigorously through the mouth while holding the nose tightly. It forces strain that triggers the heart to react and return to a normal rhythm.
- Medications: Medicines cannot treat arrhythmia, but they can reduce tachycardia.
- Cardioversion: The medications and electric shocks can be used by doctors to initialize the heart to its normal rhythm.
- Ablation therapy: To treat tachycardia, some doctors suggest ablation therapy in which a surgeon places one or more catheters inside the heart. This catheter is placed on that specific area in which arrhythmia is suspected. The doctor destroyed small damaged tissues to treat arrhythmia.
- Implantable cardio venter defibrillator (ICD): A surgical expert inserted a device near the left collar bone to monitor the heartbeats. If it detects a fast heart rhythm rate, it stimulates the heart back to its average speed. ICD is used to restore the regular heartbeat in several ways.
- Ventricular aneurysm surgery: Bulge or aneurysm in blood vessels can cause arrhythmia. Doctors can perform surgery to remove the aneurysm if other treatments couldn’t provide effective results.
- Coronary bypass surgery: It is a surgical procedure used to treat coronary heart diseases.
- Antiarrhythmic drugs: It converts arrhythmia to the sinus rhythm.
- Heart rate control drugs: These drugs control the heart rate.
- Antiplatelet therapy: It is used to reduce the risk of blood clotting, which leads to strokes.