What is cardiac arrhythmia?
Cardiac arrhythmia is simply an irregular heartbeat. Cardiac rhythm disorders are problems with the beating of the heart due to abnormal electrical activity. Arrhythmia may cause symptoms such as an abnormal awareness of heartbeat (known as palpitations). Some arrhythmias are minor. Others are life-threatening emergencies that can lead to cardiac arrest or sudden death.
The heart’s squeezing action is controlled by electrical impulses that cause its muscle fibers to contract. These muscle contractions can be irregular, excessive, inadequate, disorganized or otherwise affected, which can reduce (or stop) the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Different kinds of arrhythmias
Cardiac arrhythmias are identified by where in the heart they originate. If they originate in a lower chamber, they are ventricular. Those originating in an upper chamber are atrial. They are described as bradycardia if the heartbeat is too slow and tachycardia if it is too fast. Fibrillation occurs when the muscles contract erratically because of chaotic electrical impulses.
Initial diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia
If you or your general practitioner suspect you may have arrhythmia, you will need a cardiac specialist to perform a comprehensive examination. You will be asked a series of questions to determine the extent of your symptoms such as: “Do you feel palpitations?” and “Have you passed out or fainted for no apparent reason?” When your symptoms are identified, tests will be conducted to obtain an accurate diagnosis. If arrhythmia is diagnosed, Dr. Zambitio and his team will develop a plan of therapy to treat your arrhythmia. It all depends on your unique situation and condition.
Treatment for cardiac arrhythmia can include: medications or implantable cardiac devices such as defibrillators or pacemakers. In some cases, ablation of cardiac tissue is used to treat an arrhythmia. Many medications work to prevent arrhythmia but can also lead to the emergence of new, more serious ones. Determining causes and treatments is a matter of thorough testing.
Zambito Heart Center is an IAC accredited testing facility providing state-of-the-art echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and vascular testing to precisely diagnose cardiac arrhythmia and numerous other conditions of the heart and related systems.