Cardiac arrhythmias can be defined in two precise words – irregular heartbeat. Heart arrhythmias come in two broad modes, those that are too slow (bradyarrhythmias -- less than 50 beats per minute) and those that are too fast (tachyarrhythmias -- faster than 100 beats per minute). Your heart rates can also be irregular. In a normal circumstance, your heart rate is 50 to 100 beats per minute. Many people suffer from cardiac arrhythmias and might be unaware about it. Today, we're taking a close look at the causes, symptoms and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
Causes of cardiac arrhythmia. A few of the main causes are:
- Healing process after a surgery
- Coronary artery disease
- Changes in your heart muscle
- Electrolyte imbalances in your blood
- Distanced from the general perception, irregular heart arrhythmia can also occur in normal and healthy hearts.
Symptoms of arrhythmias. Signs and symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia can range from none to lack of consciousness and even death due to a heart attack in some unfortunate cases. Meanwhile, if you suffer from a heart disease, then you are more likely to suffer from severe symptoms of heart arrhythmia. General symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia can be light headedness, dizziness, fluttering, pounding, quivering, shortness of breath. Apart from this, one can also suffer from dizziness, chest discomfort and shortness of breath. One might also suffer from palpitations (a feeling that your heart is running away) and chest discomfort.
Treatment options of arrhythmias.
This depends on the seriousness, type and intensity of your arrhythmia. Some people might not require any kind of treatment. However, in some intense cases one might have to include medication, making severe lifestyle changes and even going for surgical procedure as a last resort.
Your doctor might use drugs such as antiarrhythmic drugs, and therapies such as anticoagulant or antiplatelet. These drugs and therapies keep your heart from creating blood clots, thus keeping cardiac problems at bay. Your doctor may also suggest you warfarin (a ‘blood thinner’) or aspirin.
A few lifestyle changes can also help in fighting your battle against cardiac arrhythmia. Avoid activities, which according to you aggravate your chances of skipping heartbeats more often. Limit your intake of alcohol and stop smoking altogether. Stay away from over-the-counter medications and caffeine products, such as coffee, soft drinks and tea. Consult with your doctor when buying over-the-counter medications, as simple medicines used in the treatment and cold and cough might also promote irregular heart rhythms.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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