Arrhythmias.. Types, symptoms and treatment


It’s normal for your heart rate to speed up during physical activity and slow down while you’re resting or sleeping, but frequent arrhythmias can mean that your heart isn’t pumping enough blood to your body.

Arrhythmias can be treated with medications or procedures to control irregular rhythms. The latter can damage the heart, brain, or other organs, and can lead to a life-threatening stroke, heart failure, or heart attack.

During cardiac arrest, the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, causing death if the person is not treated within minutes.

Symptoms of arrhythmia

What is an arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia A problem with the heart rate or rhythm. Your heart may beat too fast, too slowly, or at an irregular rhythm, according to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLI).National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute).

Types of arrhythmias according to the speed of the pulse

There are several types of arrhythmias, depending on which part of the heart is affected and whether the condition causes a slow, fast, or irregular heart rate. Arrhythmias may occur in the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) or the ventricles (the lower chambers of the heart).


Bradycardia is defined as when the resting heart rate is slower than 60 beats per minute. The heart rate may normally be slower in some people, especially those who are young or physically fit. If your heart rate is slow, your doctor can tell if this is normal for you.

fast heartbeat

Tachycardia is defined as when the resting heart rate is faster than 100 beats per minute.

premature ventricular contractions (premature or extra heartbeat)

In this condition, premature or extra heartbeat occurs when the pulse signal comes in too early, which creates a pause in the pulse, followed by a stronger beat when your heart returns to its usual rhythm. It could feel like your heart skipped a beat.

Types of arrhythmias according to the causative part of the heart

Firstly. Supraventricular arrhythmias

This type of arrhythmia begins in the atria or the lower portal chambers, and includes the following types:

Atrial fibrillation

The most common type of arrhythmia, this condition causes your heart to beat at more than 400 beats per minute, and the upper and lower chambers of the heart don’t work together as well as they should. When this happens, the lower chambers don’t fill completely or pump enough blood to your lungs and body.

Atrial flutter

In atrial flutter, the heartbeat ranges from 250 to 350 times per minute.

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)

This type causes extra heartbeats because of a problem with the electrical signals that start in the heart’s upper chambers and travel to the lower chambers.

This type of arrhythmia starts and ends suddenly. It can happen during vigorous physical activity. It’s usually not serious and occurs mostly in young people.

secondly. Ventricular arrhythmias

This type begins in the lower chambers of the heart, called the ventricles. Arrhythmias can be very serious and usually require immediate medical attention. These types include:

Ventricular tachycardia

In this case, rapid and regular beats occur in the ventricles that may last for only a few seconds or longer, and often the few beats of ventricular tachycardia do not cause problems, but if this continues for more than a few seconds, it may lead to a more serious arrhythmia, such as ventricular fibrillation .

Ventricular fibrillation

In this condition, electrical signals in the heart make the ventricles quiver instead of pumping normally. Without the ventricles pumping blood out to the body, cardiac arrest and death can occur within a few minutes.

How do you know if your heart is beating too fast or too slow?

Most adults have a heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute, and some smart watches or smartphone apps can help you know your resting heart rate, and you can also know your heart rate by feeling your pulse.

To find your pulse, place your index and middle fingers lightly on the artery on the inner wrist of either arm, just below your thumb. You should feel a pulsating or clicking on your fingers. Watch the second hand or set the timer on your stopwatch or phone and count the number of beats you feel in 30 seconds. Double this number to find your one-minute heart rate or pulse.

Symptoms of arrhythmia

An arrhythmia may not cause any obvious symptoms. You may notice symptoms such as a slow or irregular heartbeat or a temporary pause between heartbeats. You may also feel like your heart skips a beat or feel palpitations.

Other symptoms of an arrhythmia include:

  • anxiety.
  • chest pain
  • uncomfortable.
  • confusion.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • panting during sleep
  • dizziness;
  • Fainting.
  • Tired.
  • Weakness.

Causes of arrhythmia

The electrical signals of your heart control the speed of your heartbeat, and a problem with these electrical signals can cause an irregular rhythm. This may happen when the nerve cells that produce electrical signals do not work properly or when the electrical signals do not travel normally through your heart. Also, another part of your heart can start producing electrical signals, disrupting your normal heartbeat.

Conditions that cause your heart’s electrical signals to slow are called conduction disorders.

Risk factors for arrhythmia

  • getting old.
  • Hypertension.
  • heart failure
  • diabetes.
  • Thyroid diseases.
  • Having a family history of the disease.
  • smoking.
  • Congenital heart defects.
  • Kidney disease.
  • lung diseases.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Obesity.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Viral infections such as influenza or COVID-19.

Treatment of arrhythmias


Such as adenosine, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, digoxin, and potassium channel blockers.


It is a procedure that uses external electrical shocks to restore a normal heart rhythm. It’s called defibrillation when it’s done in an emergency to prevent death when an irregular heartbeat in the lower chambers of your heart or ventricles threatens or actually causes cardiac arrest.

Your doctor may also perform cardioversion as a way to treat irregular heartbeats in the upper two chambers of your heart, called atrial fibrillation.

Catheter ablation

Catheter ablation is a procedure to prevent abnormal electrical signals from traveling through your heart and causing an irregular heartbeat.

Doctors perform catheter ablation in the hospital. Your doctor guides the tip of a special catheter into a small area of ​​heart tissue. A machine sends either radiofrequency (RF) waves, very cold temperatures, or laser light through the tip of the catheter to create a scar on the heart. The scar prevents abnormal electrical signals from causing an irregular heartbeat.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)

Pacemakers are devices that restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electrical impulse, or shock, to the heart. They are used to prevent or correct an arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat that is too slow or too fast. Pacemakers can also restore the heartbeat if the heart stops suddenly.


A pacemaker is a small device that sends electrical impulses to help your heart beat at a normal rate and rhythm. Pacemakers may also be used to help the chambers of your heart beat together in sync so your heart can pump blood more efficiently.


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Arrhythmias.. Types, symptoms and treatment

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