Heart Rhythm Disorders
What is A heart arrhythmia?
Heart rhythm problems start when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don’t work correctly. This causes changes in the pattern of your heartbeat and leads to some electrical disorders.
Symptoms of Heart Rhythm Disorders
Some abnormal heart rhythms can happen without the person knowing it, while some may cause the feeling of:
- Heart racing
At some point in life, many adults have had short-lived heart rhythm changes that are not serious. Certain heart rhythms, especially those that last long enough to affect the heart’s function, can be serious or even deadly.
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types of Electrical Disorders
- Heart Palpitations
- Atrial Fluttering
- Slow Heartbeat – Bradycardia
- Rapid Heartbeat – Tachycardia
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Almost Fainting – Presyncope
- Fainting And Passing Out: Syncope
Heart Rhythm Disorders
- Heart Palpitations may seem as if the heart missed a beat, it has really had an early heartbeat, an extra beat that happens before the heart has a chance to fill with blood thereby resulting in a pause.
- Fluttering is usually due to extra or skipped beats that occur one right after the other, or may be caused by other kinds of abnormal heart rhythms.
- Bradycardia is when the heartbeat is too slow (usually below 60 beats per minute), not enough blood carrying oxygen flows through the body.
- Tachycardia: When the heart beats too quickly (usually above 100 beats per minute), the lower chambers, or ventricles, do not have enough time to fill with blood, so they cannot effectively pump blood to the rest of the body.
- Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is a common heart rhythm problem with symptoms of sudden rapid, irregular and chaotic heartbeats. Rarely, passing out, or fainting, may be caused by the most dangerous arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is the number one cause of sudden cardiac death. Within seconds, the person loses consciousness and, without immediate emergency treatment, will die within minutes.
- Presyncope can be a sign of a heart rhythm disorder and should be evaluated carefully.
- Syncope is more likely to happen suddenly and without warning than fainting from other causes, such as dehydration or low blood sugar. Any sudden loss of consciousness should be evaluated by a doctor. In some cases, fainting is the only warning sign of a dangerous heart rhythm that could cause sudden cardiac death.
Schedule a Consultation
If you suffer from heart rhythm disorders, call 205.510.5000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Macy C. Smith for treatment options. Macy C. Smith, Jr., MD, FACC, FHRS serves Birmingham, AL and surrounding areas.