A heart arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat that can cause you to feel light-headed or dizzy. Arrhythmias are very common and occur in about one-third of people over 60. Thankfully, there is a wide range of effective treatments for arrhythmias, including medication and catheter ablation.
This article is mainly focused on possible treatments for heart arrhythmia. Treatments for heart arrhythmia include medication, therapy, surgery, and other procedures.
What is Heart Arrhythmia?
Heart arrhythmia is the medical term for an abnormal heartbeat. It can be caused by many things, including genetics, age, and other medical conditions. An irregular heartbeat can cause dizziness, fainting, and chest pain. And in rare cases, this can cause some fatal damage to your heart.
According to doctors, a heart arrhythmia can sometimes indicate severe disease. If you’re experiencing any abnormal symptoms or have a family history of heart problems, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible so they can find out what’s causing them.
When to Consult Doctor?
If you notice an irregular heartbeat, feel faint or dizzy, notice swelling in your legs or ankles, or have trouble breathing, seek medical help immediately. If you are feeling dizzy or faint and can’t lie down on the floor safely without losing consciousness, call 911 (or your country’s emergency services number) immediately.
And if you notice swelling in your legs and ankles that quickly goes away when they’re elevated above the level of the heart (usually below the level of your heart), seek immediate medical attention as this is a sign that there may be something wrong with your heart.
Heart Arrhythmia Treatment
Medications used to treat heart arrhythmias depend on the type of arrhythmia and potential complications that may arise from it.
Most people with tachycardia often receive drugs to control their heart rate and restore a normal heart rhythm due to their condition.
A blood thinner may be prescribed if you have atrial fibrillation to prevent blood clots from forming. It is very important that you take the medication exactly as directed by your doctor to reduce the risk of complications resulting from the medication.
Medications For Arrhythmia Treatment
As the type of heart arrhythmia is determined by the potential complications associated with the arrhythmia, the medications used to treat it vary.
Many drugs are available to treat tachycardia, including those used to control the heart rate and restore a normal heart rhythm.
To prevent blood clots, you may need to take blood thinners if you have atrial fibrillation. To reduce the risk of complications, it is very important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor to take the medication as prescribed.
Therapies For Arrhythmia Treatment
As part of treating heart arrhythmias, vagal maneuvers are used, and cardioversion is used to stop irregular heartbeats.
Vagal maneuvers Therapy
A doctor may recommend this therapy if you have a fast heartbeat due to supraventricular tachycardia. It is important to remember that vagal maneuvers affect the nervous system that controls your heartbeat (vagus nerves), usually causing your heart rate to slow.
You may be able to stop an arrhythmia by holding your breath and straining, drenching your face in ice water, or coughing. There are several types of arrhythmia for which vagal maneuvers are not effective.
Medications or procedures may be used to reset the heart rhythm. Your doctor may recommend this treatment depending on your arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation.
Cardioversion is a procedure in which a shock is delivered to your heart through paddles or patches on your chest. You can restore a normal rhythm to your heart by applying current to the electrical impulses in it.
Surgery Or Other Therapy For Arrhythmia
Heart arrhythmias can also be treated with catheter procedures or by implanting a heart (cardiac) device during a surgical procedure. It is possible for certain arrhythmias to require open-heart surgery to be treated.
There are several types of procedures and surgeries that are used to treat heart arrhythmias, such as:
- Coronary bypass surgery
- Maze procedure
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
Causes Of Heart Arrhythmia
Heart arrhythmia causes heredity, age, stress, and preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
You or someone you love may have an arrhythmia if you feel your heartbeat is too fast or slow, skip beats, or make unusual sounds.
The most common cause of arrhythmias is a temporary one called sinus node dysfunction (SND). The sinus node is a small area in the heart’s upper right chamber that regulates its beat pattern. Tachycardia is an abnormally high resting heartbeat rate and can be caused by SND. If you have an abnormal heart rhythm that lasts more than two weeks, it’s called chronic atrial fibrillation (AF).
Heart arrhythmia is a common condition that affects many people every year. Arrhythmias can be corrected with the latest technology, and early intervention is key to successful treatment. Contact your doctor if you notice any symptoms of an abnormal heartbeat, such as dizziness or difficulty breathing.