Arrhythmia is when the heart beat is either irregular, too fast or too slow.
What is arrhythmia?
Arrhythmia, also known as an irregular heartbeat, is when the heart beat is either irregular, too fast or too slow. Arrhythmia may not always come with any warning signs.
What are the symptoms of arrhythmia?
Symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on how severe their condition is. Serious signs and symptoms of arrhythmia may include:
- Fast and racing heartbeat
- Slow heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Light-headedness or dizziness
What are the causes of arrhythmia?
Many things can lead to, or cause, an arrhythmia:
- Some people are born with a structural abnormality in their heart, which causes an arrhythmia.
- Some people develop a heart rhythm problem due to other health conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
- Sometimes an arrhythmia can have a genetic basis. Some of the most serious types of arrhythmia are inherited and effect more than one member of a family.
Learn more about the causes of arrhythmia.
What are the types of arrhythmia?
A normal heart beats 60 to 80 times per minute. If your heart beats less than 60 beats per minute, it is beating too slowly (bradycardia). If your heart is beating more than 100 beats per minute, it is beating too quickly (tachycardia).
Learn more about the types of arrhythmia.
How is arrhythmia diagnosed?
Your doctor will review your medical history and may order the following tests:
What treatment is available for arrhythmia?
Your doctor may treat your condition with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Surgery and procedures can include:
The following resources have information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for arrhythmia:
- Heart and Stroke Foundation: Arrhythmia
- HealthLink BC: Heart rhythm problems symptoms
- HealthLink BC: Heart rhythm problems and driving
- HealthLink BC: Heart arrhythmias and exercise
- HealthLink BC: Arrhythmias and sexual activity
- Mayo Clinic: Arrhythmia
- Fraser Health Patient Education: Atrial fibrillation: What to do for my health
- Fraser Health Patient Education: Heart palpitations (English)
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