Arrhythmia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Arrhythmia is a problem at the rate or rhythm of the heart beat that beats too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Arrhythmia sufferers may feel a heartbeat that is too fast, called tachycardia. While a heart rate that is too slow is called bradycardia.

Condition of Arrhythmia Patients

Patients with this health disorder may not feel anything, because this heart rhythm disorder can occur without symptoms ( asymptomatic ).
In many cases, this heart rhythm disorder and heart rhythm can be harmless. But some can be serious or even life threatening. As long as this heart rhythm disorder occurs, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. Lack of blood flow can damage the brain, heart and other organs.
Health conditions that cause irregular heart rhythms can fall into an emergency. This health disorder can also be harmless and only occurs at that time.
If you feel something unusual with your heart rate, contact your doctor as soon as possible or be rushed to the nearest hospital to get medical attention, so you can find out why it happened.

Causes of Arrhythmia

What are the causes of arrhythmia? You can experience this rhythm disorder and heart rhythm, even if your heart is healthy. However, the causes of arrhythmias can be summarized as follows:
  • Heart disease
  • Electrolyte imbalance (such as sodium or potassium) in your blood
  • Changes in heart muscle
  • Injury from a heart attack
  • Healing after heart surgery

Types of Arrhythmia Disorders

There are many types of heart rhythm disorders main and most common is premature atrial contractions, arrhythmia supraventricular , ventricular arrhythmias , and bradyarrhythmias .
However, if explained more fully, this type of rhythm disturbance and heart rhythm can be detailed as follows.

1.  Premature atrial contractions

This is an initial extra pulse that starts in the upper chamber of the heart, called the atrium. These contractions are usually harmless and usually do not require treatment.

2. Supraventricular

A rapid heartbeat usually with a regular rhythm, starting from the top of the lower chamber of the heart, or ventricle. Supraventricular suddenly occurs and suddenly ends.

3. Ventricular tachycardia (V-tach)

A fast heart rhythm starts from the lower heart space. Because the heart beats too fast, the heart is not filled with blood with adequate volume. This can be a serious heart disorder, especially in people with heart disease, and it may be related to other symptoms.

4. Bradyarrhythmia

Bradyarrhythmias are slow heart rhythms, which may be due to an electrical system disturbance in the heart.

5. Premature ventricular contraction (PVC)

This is one of the most common types of heart rhythm disorders. Usually these contractions will “skip the heartbeat” which we all feel sometimes. This can be related to stress, too much caffeine or nicotine. But sometimes, PVC can be caused by heart disease or electrolyte imbalance. If you often feel PVC, or symptoms related to this, immediately contact your heart doctor.

6. Atrial fibrillation

The rhythm of the heartbeat is very fast and irregular, this often causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract abnormally.

7. Atrial flutter

Atrial flutter is usually more organized and organized than atrial fibrillation. This occurs most often in heart disease and in the first week after heart surgery. This often changes to atrial fibrillation.

8. Additional pathways for tachycardia

You can feel a fast heartbeat because there are additional paths between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. This is like a parable if there is a new additional road on the way home outside the usual route, the car will take the line so it moves faster. When it occurs inside the heart, it can cause a rapid heart rhythm, called tachycardia, even very fast.

10. Atrioventricular  nodal reentrant tachycardia

This is another type of rapid heartbeat (tachycardia). This is caused by an additional pathway through the part of the heart called AV nodal. This can cause heart palpitations, patients faint instantly or heart failure. In some cases, you can stop it just by breathing regularly and resting it.

11. Ventricular fibrillation 

This happens when the lower heart space vibrates and cannot contract or pump blood to the body. This is a medical emergency that must be treated with CPR (cardiac resuscitation) and defibrillation as soon as possible.

12. Long QT syndrome

This can cause potentially dangerous cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. Doctors can treat arrhythmias with drugs or devices called defibrillators.

13. Sinus node dysfunction

This slow heart rhythm is caused by a problem with the heart sinus node. Some people with this type of arrhythmia need a pacemaker.

14. Heart block

There is a total delay or block in the heart’s electrical impulses due to the passage of the sinus heart node to the lower heart space. Irregular pulsating heart often slower. In serious cases, the patient needs a pacemaker.

Symptoms of arrhythmia

Cardiac arrhythmias can be asymptomatic. A doctor can find an irregular heartbeat during a physical examination by checking the heart through a stethoscope or through an electrocardiogram (EKG). Symptoms of arrhythmias that arise include:
  • Palpitations (feeling of the heart beating fast)
  • A feeling of pounding in the chest
  • Dizzy
  • Unconscious suddenly (syncope)
  • Hard to breathe
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis of arrhythmia

To diagnose irregular heart rhythms or find the cause of arrhythmias, doctors use tests that include:

1. Electrocardiogram (ECG or ECG)

This test records the electrical activity of the heart. You will use a small electrode patch on the chest, arms and legs. This test is not painful and quickly applied, which can be done in a doctor’s office.

2. Monitor Holter

This is a portable ECG that you will use for 1 to 2 days. You will use electrodes attached to the skin. This hurts and you can do everything even though you wear electrodes.

3. Stress tests

There are various types of stress tests. The goal is to check how much heart stress can occur before having problems with the heart rhythm or when not getting blood flow to the heart.
The most common type of stress test is that you will walk on a treadmill or paddle a stationary bike to improve your heart’s performance, then you will be examined by an ECG.

4. Echocardiogram

This cardiac arrhythmia test uses ultrasound to evaluate the heart muscle and heart valve.

5. Cardiac catheterization 

Your doctor will insert a thin catheter or long tube into a vein in the arm or leg. This will guide it to your heart with the help of a special X-ray machine. Then inject the dye through the catheter to help make X-ray videos of your heart valves, coronary arteries, and heart chambers.

6. Electrophysiology studies

This cardiac arrhythmia test records electrical activity and the electrical pathway of the heart. This can help find out what causes heart rhythm problems and find the best treatment. During the test, the doctor will record an abnormal heart rhythm then maybe give a different drug to record the best medicine, or to see the best procedure or device that the patient needs.

7. Tilt up test head

Doctors use this test to find out what caused the patient to faint. Measure differences in heart rate and blood pressure when the patient is standing and lying down. The patient will lie on the bed in a slanted position at different angles when examining ECG and blood pressure , and oxygen levels.

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