Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.
Heart arrhythmias may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless. However, some heart arrhythmias may cause bothersome — sometimes even life-threatening — signs and symptoms.
Heart arrhythmia treatment can often control or eliminate fast or irregular heartbeats. In addition, because troublesome heart arrhythmias are often made worse — or are even caused — by a weak or damaged heart, you may be able to reduce your arrhythmia risk by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Doctors classify arrhythmias not only by where they originate (atria or ventricles) but also by the speed of heart rate they cause:
Tachycardia. This refers to a fast heartbeat — a resting heart rate greater than 100 beats a minute.
Bradycardia. This refers to a slow heartbeat — a resting heart rate less than 60 beats a minute.
Not all tachycardias or bradycardias mean you have heart disease. For example, during exercise it's normal to develop a fast heartbeat as the heart speeds up to provide your tissues with more oxygen-rich blood. During sleep or times of deep relaxation, it's not unusual for the heart beat to be slower.
An arrhythmia can occur if the electrical signals that control the heartbeat are delayed or blocked. This can happen if the special nerve cells that produce electrical signals don't work properly, or if electrical signals don't travel normally through the heart.
An arrhythmia also can occur if another part of the heart starts to produce electrical signals. This adds to the signals from the special nerve cells and disrupts the normal heartbeat.
Smoking, heavy alcohol use, use of certain drugs (such as cocaine or amphetamines), use of certain prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or too much caffeine or nicotine can lead to arrhythmias in some people.
Strong emotional stress or anger can make the heart work harder, raise blood pressure, and release stress hormones. In some people, these reactions can lead to arrhythmias.
A heart attack or an underlying condition that damages the heart's electrical system also can cause arrhythmias. Examples of such conditions include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, overactive or underactive thyroid gland (too much or too little thyroid hormone produced), and rheumatic heart disease.
1.Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
A record of the electrical activity of the heart. Disks are placed on the chest and connected by wires to a recording machine. The heart's electrical signals cause a pen to draw lines across a strip of graph paper in the ECG machine. The doctor studies the shapes of these lines to check for any changes in the normal rhythm. The types of ECGs are:
The patient lies down for a few minutes while a record is made. In this type of ECG, disks are attached to the patient's arms and legs as well as to the chest.
Exercise ECG (stress test)
The patient exercises either on a treadmill machine or bicycle while connected to the ECG machine. This test tells whether exercise causes arrhythmias or makes them worse or whether there is evidence of inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle ("ischemia").
24-hour ECG (Holter) monitoring
The patient goes about his or her usual daily activities while wearing a small, portable tape recorder that connects to the disks on the patient's chest. Over time, this test shows changes in rhythm (or "ischemia") that may not be detected during a resting or exercise ECG.
The patient wears the tape recorder and disks over a period of a few days to several weeks. When the patient feels an arrhythmia, he or she telephones a monitoring station where the record is made. If access to a telephone is not possible, the patient has the option of activating the monitor's memory function. Later, when a telephone is accessible, the patient can transmit the recorded information from the memory to the monitoring station. Transtelephonic monitoring can reveal arrhythmias that occur only once every few days or weeks.
3.Electrophysiologic study (EPS)
A test for arrhythmias that involves cardiac catheterization. Very thin, flexible tubes (catheters) are placed in a vein of an arm or leg and advanced to the right atrium and ventricle. This procedure allows doctors to find the site and type of arrhythmia and how it responds to treatment.
Most arrhythmias are considered harmless and left untreated. After your doctor determines that you have arrhythmia, he checks its severity whether it's abnormal or a regular heart process. If your arrhythmia is abnormal and clinically significant, your doctor will set a treatment plan.
They are used to treat heart beat related disorders, called arrhythmias. Antiarrhythmics work in a variety of ways to slow the electrical impulses in the heart so that the heart can regain a regular rhythm.
2.Automated External Defibrillator:
It is a kind of portable device that inspects the heart rhythm. If required, it can send an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. It is commonly used to treat sudden cardiac arrest.
3.Calcium Channel Blockers:
CCBs are effective medicines that have been shown to lower blood pressure and help prevent and treat the symptoms of angina (chest pain).
It is procedure followed to restore a fast or irregular heart rhythm to a normal rhythm.
Catheter Ablation – It is a safe medical procedure to treat some types of arrhythmia and involves the use of radiofrequency (RF) energy.