What are they?
Arrhythmias are abnormal rhythms of your heartbeat (watch the video). This means that your heart may beat too slowly (bradycardia), too fast (tachycardia), or in an irregular pattern. These abnormal rhythms can occur when the electrical impulses coming from your heart don’t fire as they normally should.
There are many types of arrhythmias that can occur with varying degrees of symptoms. If you’re having symptoms that are interfering with daily living — causing fatigue, fainting or chest pain — you should be evaluated by a physician to diagnose if an arrhythmia is the cause.
Atrial fibrillation (or "afib") is the most common type of arrhythmia; it’s a fast, irregular heartbeat. In afib, electrical signals fire in a very fast or uncontrolled fashion, causing the atrial chambers of the heart to twitch, quiver or contract. Blood can pool in the heart causing blood clots, and if a blood clot travels to the brain, stroke can occur.
Watch a video on the signs and symptoms of arrythmias.
- Palpitations (feeling of skipped, fluttering, or heart racing)
- Dizziness, fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme fatigue or weakness; lack of energy
- Chest discomfort
- Coronary heart disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Thyroid problems
- Caffeine or nicotine use
- Sleep apnea
- Substance abuse (diet pills, illicit drugs, alcohol)
- Complete medical history and physical examination
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Electrophysiology (EP) studies
- Implantable loop recorder
- Wearable heart monitor (Holter monitor)
Watch the video on arrhythmia treatments.
- Medication management
- Lower your risk by not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and being active
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Defibrillator/pacemaker implant surgery
- Device implantation (i.e., Watchman™)