Cardiac arrhythmia, also referred to as heart arrhythmia, is the occurrence of an irregular heartbeat. This is due to a failure of electrical impulses to properly regulate the heartbeat, causing it to beat too fast, too slow, or at an abnormal rhythm.
Causes of Cardiac Arrhythmia
Arrhythmias can occur whether your heart has a disorder or is generally healthy. Even if you believe your heart is healthy, you should have a medical professional examine you if you experience an irregular heartbeat.
Some causes of cardiac arrhythmias include:
- Heart conditions
- Genetic pre-disposition
- Drugs (especially stimulants) & alcohol use
Symptoms of Cardiac Arrhythmia
Heart rhythms are not constant. They speed up during times of stress and exercise, and slow down when you sleep. However, when it deviates from these normal heartbeat rhythms, this is possibly a dangerous problem.
You may or may not notice if you experience cardiac arrhythmias. Common occurrences when the heart experiences an arrhythmia include skipped beats, a racing heartbeat, or a fluttering heartbeat. Additionally, this might be accompanied by chest pain, dizziness, or feelings of faint and fatigue.
In order to diagnose your cardiac arrhythmia, your doctor will have you undergo a physical examination and perform tests on your heart.
Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatments
The treatment of cardiac arrhythmia depends on the severity of your arrhythmia and the specific type you are experiencing. In some cases, medications such as beta-blockers or anticoagulants can be prescribed. Your medical professional will also ask you to limit alcohol and caffeine intake, among other lifestyle restrictions. In some cases, cardiac arrhythmia is managed with a pacemaker that generates the proper electrical impulses to maintain a healthy heartbeat.