Unless you’ve already been diagnosed with heart conditions , you may not spend a lot of time thinking about your heartbeat. After all, your heart performs involuntary movements and works whether you’re thinking about it or not. But sometimes, the heart can behave abnormally. This may mean that you require emergency medical care or an appointment with your primary care physician, who may refer you to a heart doctor.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Help
Problems with the heart rate may sometimes indicate an emergency situation. For example, ventricular fibrillation is a type of heart arrhythmia that can result in the reduction or elimination of blood to the vital organs. This can be life-threatening. Ventricular fibrillation may be indicated by a person’s sudden collapse, cessation of breathing, and lack of a pulse. In this situation, call 911 immediately and begin performing CPR or hands-only CPR. An automated external defibrillator (AED) may be used if one is available. Other heartbeat problems may also require emergency care. These can include the sudden onset of chest pain or discomfort, fainting or near fainting, dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.
When to Talk to a Primary Care Doctor
Patients with heart conditions may not always suffer from severe symptoms such as fainting and respiratory distress. In fact, heart arrhythmias may sometimes result in no noticeable symptoms at all. However, if you do notice unusual fluttering sensations in your chest, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. Inform your doctor if you experience an unusually slow or rapid heartbeat.
When to Consult a Cardiologist
After performing a physical exam and discussing your symptoms, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. Cardiologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the heart. Your cardiologist may recommend a series of tests, followed by treatment if necessary.
If you’ve been referred to a cardiologist near Glendale or Peoria, you can count on the team at Cardiac Solutions to provide you with the answers you need. Since 1984, our cardiologists have worked closely with patients with all types of heart conditions, ranging from heart arrhythmia to congenital heart disease to congestive heart failure. Consult our heart disease specialists by calling (623) 876-8816.