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What is Cardiac Arrhythmia? Know causes, types, symptoms and treatment

Cardiac Arrhythmia

Cardiac arrhythmia, commonly known as an irregular heartbeat, occurs when the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an erratic rhythm. This disruption can hinder the normal flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, potentially leading to various health problems. In this blog, we will delve into the causes, types, symptoms, and treatments of cardiac arrhythmia.

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Causes of Cardiac Arrhythmia

The heart’s rhythm is regulated by an electrical system that coordinates its contractions. In a healthy heart, electrical signals are sent in a precise, orderly manner, ensuring a regular heartbeat. However, disruptions in this electrical system can result in arrhythmias. Common causes include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

 Types of Cardiac Arrhythmia

1. Tachycardia: Characterized by a rapid heartbeat exceeding 100 beats per minute. It includes:

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia: Originates above the heart’s ventricles.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia : Originates in the ventricles.

2. Bradycardia: Defined by a slow heartbeat of fewer than 60 beats per minute. It may be due to issues with the heart’s natural pacemaker or underlying heart conditions.

3. Atrial Fibrillation: The heart’s upper chambers (atria) experience chaotic electrical signals, causing a fast and irregular heartbeat.

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4. Atrial Flutter: Similar to atrial fibrillation but with more organized electrical activity in the atria.

5. Premature Contractions: Early heartbeats that occur before the next normal heartbeat. They can be benign or indicative of an underlying condition.

Symptoms of Cardiac Arrhythmia

  • Palpitations (sensation of a racing or fluttering heart)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Fainting or near-fainting spells
  •  Weakness

It’s important to note that some individuals may not experience any symptoms, while others may have severe symptoms affecting their daily lives.

Treatment for Cardiac Arrhythmia

Treatment options for cardiac arrhythmia vary based on the type, severity, and underlying cause. Common treatments include:

  •  Medications
  •  Cardioversion (a procedure to restore a normal heart rhythm)
  • Catheter ablation (a procedure to destroy areas of the heart causing arrhythmias)
  • Implantable devices (such as pacemakers or defibrillators)
  •  Lifestyle changes (including diet, exercise, and avoiding substances that may trigger arrhythmias)

Understanding cardiac arrhythmia is crucial for managing and treating this condition effectively. If you suspect you have an irregular heartbeat, consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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