It is not unreasonable for arrhythmias to cause zero signs or symptoms in the patient. In fact, your doctor may locate the very first signs before you ever do, during a routine medical exam. Noticeable signs and symptoms don’t necessarily point towards a serious issue, however. If you do notice any signs, there will mostly be premature or extra heartbeats – the feeling of your heart either racing or pumping too slowly. If this is the case, speak with your doctor immediately.
Most arrhythmias are considered harmless and often left untreated by your doctor. Once a physician has documented the symptoms you’re experiencing, the next task is to find out whether the irregular heart rhythms are abnormal or merely the normal process of the heart. This is where a specialist comes into play. The symptoms they watch for include:
- Fluttering in the chest
- Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting or near-fainting
There are many reasons why symptoms may appear, including heart attack, blocked arteries, smoking, drug abuse, stress, diabetes, or an overactive thyroid gland, to name but a few.
If your doctor decides the arrhythmia is serious and requires treatment, there are a few options to consider. Treatment goals include controlling heart rate, treating an existing disease or heart conditions that could be causing the arrhythmia, and reduce risk factors, such as stroke or cardiovascular disease.
Treatments include prescribed medications, avoiding certain substances – namely caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and appetite suppressants – and monitoring your heart rate throughout the day. Simply put, you must take treatment one day at a time to ensure conditions do not worsen.
If you suspect you’re experiencing symptoms of arrhythmia and would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Brookhaven Heart by calling 631-654-3278. We’ll schedule an appointment as soon as possible!