Arrhythmia is the medical term used to describe an abnormal rhythm of the heart. The type and severity of the rhythm problem can vary in patients. If the heartbeat is too slow, it is called a bradyarrhythmia or bradycardia. If it is too fast, it is called a tachyarrhythmia or tachycardia. A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute but there are many exceptions.
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The symptoms of a slow heart beat include:
- Fainting or near-fainting spells
The symptoms of a rapid heart beat include:
- Fainting or near fainting
- Anti-arrhythmic drugs to return your heart to a normal rhythm
- Drugs to control the heart rate
- ‘Warfarin’ or asprin which reduces the risk of clots forming or strokes
- Lifestyle Changes
- Stop smoking
- Drink sensibly
- Reduce or stop taking caffeine (tea/coffee/coca-cola)
- Avoid taking medications, herbal remedies or supplements which contain stimulants
An electric shock is delivered to your chest wall that allows your heart to return to a normal rhythm.
The delivery of high-frequency electrical energy to certain areas of tissue in the heart “disconnects” the abnormal rhythm.
This is a small device implanted into the chest wall. The device sends small electrical impulses to the heart allowing it to maintain a normal heart rhythm. It is mostly used for patients who have a low heart rate.
- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
This is the implantation of an electrical device in the chest cavity. The device monitors your heart rhythm and when the abnormal rhythm occurs it delivers a ‘shock’ to the heart wall to return the heart beat to normal.