When your heart beats abnormally or irregularly it is known as arrhythmia. A normal heart beat pumps blood throughout your body and all its organs, but untreated arrhythmia can have serious consequences. Knowing these 6 warning signs of heart arrhythmia can you or your child’s life.
Types of Arrhythmia
A normal heart beat is between 60 and 100 beats per minute while at rest. When our organs don’t get the steady blood flow they need, they can become damaged or just stop working.
Bradycardia is when your heart beats less than 60 beats per minute while at rest.
Tachycardia is when your heart beats in excess of 60 beats per minute.
Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is the most common abnormal pediatric heart rhythm, affecting as many as 1 in 250 children
Our heart rate can change depending on what we are doing like the following:
- It will increase during exercise, when we are sick, or under stress.
- Some medications can affect our heart rate.
- Smoking, caffeine, alcohol, and drug use can all affect our heart rate.
Most Common Type of Arrhythmia: Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia according to the CDC. It is an uncoordinated or chaotic heart beat. Known as AFib, it can cause a quivering feeling in your chest. It occurs when the two upper chambers of your heart pump out of sync. People with AFib are 5 times more likely to have a stroke.
In addition, it can cause your heart to beat as fast as 170 beats per minute. You will feel heart palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, sweating, and chest pain. Unfortunately, not everyone has symptoms.
When arrhythmias, including AFib last long enough, more serious symptoms can occur like collapse and sudden cardiac arrest.
If you think you or your child may have an arrhythmia, contact the Children’s Heart Institute for tests and a diagnosis at our office in NOVA and Maryland.
Complications of Arrhythmia
Uneven heart rates can lead to the following:
- Heart failure
- Stroke due to clots
If you suspect you have an arrhythmia, contact the Children’s Heart Institute to schedule an appointment for a diagnosis and treatment strategy.