Arrhythmia is defined as an irregular heartbeat. Occasional palpitations during periods of emotional disturbances, excessive intake of caffeine or physical stress are normal and are nothing to worry about. Every one experiences a missed beat sometimes. In some individuals the arrhythmias may be silent arrhythmias. Silent arrhythmias are not associated with any symptoms. These are detected with the help of an electrocardiogram. Some of the common and serious symptoms of arrhythmias are listed below:
Persistent palpitations – Palpitation, in simple terms means being aware of one’s own heart beat. The heart beats regularly. We are not even aware that it’s beating, under normal circumstances. However, in cases of stress, anxiety, sudden emotional disturbances such as excitement and shock and in cases of physical exertion or exercise, the heart starts to beat faster than usual. This is normal. But in these circumstances one becomes aware of the heart beat. This is known as palpitation. The palpitations may feel like pounding, galloping or fluttering .When one starts to experience palpitations frequently, then it can be associated with cardiac diseases or other health problems. In such instances, it is necessary to consult the heath care professional, who might refer you to a cardiac specialist for a detailed and further examination.
Chest pain – Another important and serious symptom that may be associated with arrhythmia is chest pain. Under normal circumstances, the most common cause of chest pain is the boating of the abdomen. If the chest pain is associated with palpitations, if the chest pain is sudden and extreme and originating from the left side of the chest and in the left shoulder region, then the individual must immediately seek urgent medical assistance. Chest pain may also be accompanied by sweating..In such circumstances, the chest pain is usually associated with cardiac problems which may even prove to be life threatening, such as a cardiac arrest.
Dyspnea – When arrhythmia is associated with dyspnea then it becomes cause of concern. Dyspnea is difficulty in breathing. The individual often complains of palpitations, loud beating of the heart or irregular heartbeats accompanied by tightness in chest and difficulty in breathing. The person may report shortness of breath. This is another case that calls for urgent medical help.
Dizziness – Palpitations and arrhythmias can also be accompanied with a feeling of dizziness or light headedness. The person may also complain of fullness in the throat and the chest. This is a serious condition requiring urgent medical intervention.
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This is a type of arrhythmia in which the heart beats at a rate of more than 100 beats per minute. Tachycardia can occur when the person is under physical exertion such as rigorous exercise or emotional stress. Most episodes of tachycardia are experienced in the upper chambers of the heart, or atria. Those that occur in the lower chambers, or ventricles, are more serious. Arrhythmias in the ventricles are associated with sudden cardiac death, particularly if the ventricles are reduced to quivering rather than beating.
Bradycardia occurs when the heart beats slowly, at a rate of less than 60 beats per minute. People who are physically fit may have a heart rate slower than normal when they are resting. In some cases, bradycardia can be caused by problems with the sinus node of the heart.