Key Information About Arrhythmia
Also known as irregular heartbeat or cardiac dysrhythmia, arrhythmia is a problem with the rate of your heartbeat.
It means that your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular pattern. When the heart beats faster than normal, it is known as tachycardia. When it beats too slowly, it is called bradycardia.
Main types of arrhythmia are:
- Premature atrial contractions
- Premature ventricular contractions
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial flutter
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
- Accessory pathway tachycardias
- AV nodal reentrant tachycardia
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular fibrillation
- Long QT syndrome
- Sinus node dysfunction
- Heart block
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). It causes 20 to 30% of all strokes and increases the risk of dying prematurely. Symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, and difficulty exercising.— medicalxpress.com
Coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, electrolyte imbalances, excessive alcohol consumption, improper functioning of the heart's electrical system, smoking, excessive consumption of caffeine products and use of substances like cocaine are some known causes of arrhythmia.
Some people with arrhythmia do not display any symptoms. Fluttering in the chest, chest pain, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath and lightheadedness are some symptoms of arrhythmia.
To diagnose arrhythmia, doctors usually enquire about symptoms, medical history and any signs of arrhythmia in the family.
Generally EKG and physical exam are part of diagnosis. Additional tests may be performed to rule out other causes, or to decide on treatment.
Preventicus Heartbeats app measures and documents the heart rhythm with a smartphone camera.
"The first apps that were able to measure the heart rate with a smartphone camera were created about six or seven years ago.
Those were pure gadgets and not health apps. But this gave me the idea to research whether you can use the smartphone to not only measure the heart rate but also use it for diagnostic purposes....
The app itself is free. It also supports a brief free preliminary test. Users can document their heart rhythm with the highest accuracy using the paid full version of the app.
The app generates an ECG-comparable report that can be interpreted by a physician. We have shown in large, multi-centric international clinical trials that the app detects atrial fibrillation with an accuracy that matches an ECG" said Dr Thomas Hübner, Managing Director, PREVENTICUS GmbH.
The 12 lead ECG is the main noninvasive tool used to localize arrhythmias.
Treatment for arrhythmia depends on the severity of the condition. Possible treatments include:
- Electrophysiology procedures (EP study, mapping, ablation)
- Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
- Medical Management
- Pacemaker Implantation
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram
- Heart Surgery
Avoid activities (like smoking, use of illegal drugs and excessive consumption of alcohol) that increase the chances of developing an arrhythmia. Adhere to a balanced diet. Do yoga daily.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Srikanth R