Arrhythmia is a disorder that occurs in the heart rhythm. People with arrhythmias can feel their heart rhythm too fast, too slow, or irregular.
Actually, normal arrhythmia occur in healthy heart conditions. But if it occurs continuously or repeatedly, arrhythmia can indicate a problem in the heart organs.
Cardiac Arrhythmia Types
There are several types of arrhythmia that are most commonly encountered, namely:
- Atrial fibrillation, which is a condition when the heart beats faster and irregularly.
- AV blocks, which are conditions when the heart beats more slowly.
- Supraventricular tachycardia, which is a condition when the heart rate is too fast.
- Extra systolic ventricular, which is a condition when there is another pulse beyond the pulse
- Ventricular fibrillation, which is a condition when the heart only vibrates.
Cardiac Arrhythmia Risk Factors
Although it can happen to anyone, there are several factors that increase a person to get arrhythmia. Here are some of these risk factors, namely:
Use of drugs or certain substances.
A person is at risk of arrhythmia if they use drugs or other substances. This is because the work of the heart can be affected, especially the use of certain types of drugs.
Excessive alco**hol consumption.
A person’s risk of developing an arrhythmia also increases if they consume alco**hol in excess. This is due to the influence of electrical impulses in the heart.
Taking certain medications.
Various types of drugs can cause certain side effects, one of which is a drug to overcome arrhythmia. In fact, from medicines to mild diseases, such as cough and cold medicines, can also cause abnormalities in heart rhythms this occurs.
Smo**king and consuming excessive caffeine.
Both smo**king and consuming caffeine if done in excess, it increases a person’s risk of developing an arrhythmia. This is because smo**king and caffeine cause the heart rate to be faster.
Cardiac arrhythmias may be caused by
Many things can cause arrhythmia, including:
- Heart attack
- Damage to the heart muscle due to a previous heart attack.
- Changes in heart structure such as those that occur in cardiomyopathy
- Blockage of blood vessels in the heart (coronary artery disease)
- High blood pressure
- Overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
- Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Nervous system stimulation due to smo**king, drinking too much alco**hol or caffeine, stress.
- Certain dietary supplements and herbal remedies
- Electric shock
- Air pollution
Cardiac Arrhythmia Symptoms
The arrhythmia that the attack may not cause symptoms or characteristics. However, most people with this condition report that they feel a change in heart rate.
The heart rate is faster than 100 beats per minute and it is often described with a feeling of pounding. It can also be that the heart rate becomes slower, which is below 60 beats per minute.
In addition, other symptoms of arrhythmia that may accompany them are:
- Chest pain.
- Fainting (syncope) or almost fainting.
- Heart palpitations.
- A pounding in the chest.
- Shortness of breath.
- The body feels weak and tired.
Cardiac Arrhythmia Diagnosis
To determine if the patient has an arrhythmia, the doctor will ask for symptoms that appear and listen to the patient’s heartbeat. After that, the doctor will perform some of the following examinations:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG), to record the electrical activity of the heart in a lying condition. To record the electrical activity of the heart when the patient is active for a day, the doctor will install a portable ECG device called Holter monitoring of the patient.
- Heart training test, to measure heart activity when patients do physical exercise, such as pedaling a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill.
- Echo the heart, to see the structure and function of the heart. This procedure is carried out with the help of sound waves.
The doctor can also run other examinations, to see the possibility of the underlying disease arrhythmia, namely:
- Measurement of electrolyte levels
- Blood sugar level measurement
- Cardiac catheterization
Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatment
Like other heart diseases, there are several ways of treating heart rhythm disorders. The doctor will determine the appropriate treatment method with the patient’s condition, especially after knowing the type of arrhythmia suffered. One way to establish a diagnosis of arrhythmia is with an echocardiogram and an electrocardiogram. Another way is to test heart load through physical exercise, for example by walking on a treadmill.
Arrhythmia treatment procedures include:
- Installation of pacemakers to help control heart rhythm
- Medications to reduce episodes of heart rhythm disorders
- Cardioversion aims to restore heart rhythm back to normal by using electric shocks and/or medications.
- Implanted defibrillators to monitor heart rhythm disorders and help normalize heart rate when a disturbance is detected