An arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat that may cause the heart to beat too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly. These types of heart conditions aren’t always a cause for concern. However, you may need to be evaluated by a heart doctor , since some arrhythmias can lead to life-threatening complications. Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood that you’ll be diagnosed with an arrhythmia, including other cardiovascular conditions and non-cardiac conditions.
Cardiovascular Risk Factors
If you already have a heart condition, you may be at a greater risk of developing an arrhythmia. These conditions include having heart failure, which is characterized by the inability of the heart to pump a sufficient volume of blood. Heart valve diseases, which can involve narrowed or leaking heart valves, can place the heart under significant stress and may lead to heart failure. Other cardiovascular issues that may increase your risk of an arrhythmia include congenital heart defects, high blood pressure, having previously suffered a heart attack, and having previously undergone heart surgery.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, having a certain type of sleep disorder can increase your risk of an arrhythmia . Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing periodically stops and restarts during sleep. This can lead to heart conditions such as an abnormal heartbeat because the heart becomes deprived of oxygen. Other non-cardiovascular conditions that may increase your risk include having hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, having an imbalance of electrolytes in the bloodstream, and having diabetes. Diabetes indirectly increases the risk of an abnormal heartbeat because it contributes to high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
Consuming alcohol to excess can increase your risk of a number of health problems, including heart rhythm problems. This is because alcohol can affect the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat, which may raise your risk of developing atrial fibrillation. Caffeine, nicotine, and illegal stimulants such as amphetamine and cocaine are other lifestyle risk factors of heart rhythm problems.
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart conditions in Phoenix, you can find the help you need at Cardiac Solutions. Our cardiologists work closely with each patient to develop a comprehensive, personalized treatment program for arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, and other heart conditions. Call our clinic at (623) 876-8816 to schedule an appointment with a heart doctor today.
An arrhythmia is a heart condition that causes irregularities in the heart’s electrical impulses. This means that the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or erratically. Some arrhythmias are mild and don’t require treatment, while others are more serious and require monitoring by a cardiologist . Keep reading to learn more about heart arrhythmias.
Visit a Heart Doctor Regularly
If your heart arrhythmia is mild, it may not require regular visits to a heart doctor or cardiologist. You should still visit your physician regularly for checkups to make sure your condition hasn’t worsened. If you do require monitoring by a cardiologist, it’s important to attend each appointment, and participate in any therapies or cardiac care that is recommended. If you feel dizzy or faint in between appointments, lie down and call your doctor immediately. Don’t attempt to walk or drive.
Take All Medications as Prescribed
Your heart doctor may prescribe certain medications to manage your arrhythmia. You should take all medications as prescribed. Some over-the-counter medications, like nutritional supplements or cold and allergy medicines, may interact poorly with your heart medication or cause side effects like a rapid heart rate, so talk to your doctor about what to avoid. If you notice any side effects from your heart medication, such as heart palpitations or depression, let your heart doctor know immediately.
Don’t Let Arrhythmia Go Untreated
Arrhythmias can be a symptom of underlying cardiovascular disease or coronary artery disease. If you don’t seek regular or appropriate treatment for your heart arrhythmia, you could develop a blood clot that can cause a stroke. You could also suffer a significant decrease in blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs, causing congestive heart failure and even death.
If you’re suffering from a heart arrhythmia near Phoenix and are in need of a cardiologist, visit Cardiac Solutions. Our heart doctors have been providing exceptional cardiac care to Phoenix, Peoria, Sun City West, Avondale, and Glendale since 1984. For more information, or to make an appointment, call us today at (623) 876-8816.
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.