Distinguishing Between Different Types of Arrhythmias
Abnormal heartbeats, or arrhythmias , are common heart conditions that affect millions of people. They can be minor or severe, but with treatment by a heart doctor, they can be regulated. One of the first steps in treating an arrhythmia is diagnosing the type. Here is a look at some of the common kinds.
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia. It causes irregular contractions in the atria of the heart, thanks to electrical signals that begin in the wrong part of the heart. These signals cause the atria to beat irregularly and prevent them from pumping blood to the ventricles in the normal way. Although atrial fibrillation is not usually life-threatening, it does increase the risk of both stroke and congestive heart failure. Your heart doctor can treat atrial fibrillation with cardioversion and medications. If an underlying condition, like hyperthyroidism, is contributing to the atrial fibrillation, treating it can also help resolve symptoms.
Ventricular fibrillation, a type of ventricular arrhythmia, occurs when the ventricles don’t beat normally, but quiver instead. Unlike atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation can be life-threatening and can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. Immediate treatment to reset the heartbeat through a process called defibrillation is required. People have the biggest risk of ventricular fibrillation during a heart attack or when their heart is weakened from heart disease.
With a brady arrhythmia, the heart beats slower than it normally would. Your heart doctor may diagnose you with a bradyarrhythmia if your heart beats less than 60 times per minute. These arrhythmias are usually associated with medications, chemical imbalances, and heart attacks. Hypothyroidism and other conditions that alter the electrical activity in the heart can also be to blame.
Cardiac Solutions provides diagnostic testing and treatments for a range of heart conditions, including arrhythmias. Make an appointment with one of our cardiologists near Phoenix and find out more about our heart clinic by calling (623) 876-8816.