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Fast Heart Rate – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Tachycardia, known as a fast heart rate in layman’s terms, is probably a sign of a heart rhythm disorder. In this case it is important to find out the underlying rhythm disorder which could either be atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, ventricular tachycardia, supra ventricular tachycardia and so on.


If your heart is beating too quickly, it may not be strong enough to pump blood efficiently throughout your body. This lack of oxygen will deprive your essential organs of oxygen and cause the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting


There are numerous potential causes of tachycardia. Something within your body is disrupting the usual electrical impulses that control your heart’s pumping action. These include:

  • Damage to heart tissues
  • Heart disease
  • Anemia
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Medication side effects
  • Imbalance of electrolytes
  • Overactive thyroid


Treatment for tachycardia is dependent on the underlying abnormal rhythm. The point is to prevent future episodes and reduce complications. Some potential treatment options include:

  • Medications – Pill versions of anti-arrhythmic medicines help prevent an irregular heart rate when administered regularly. Other drugs, including calcium channel blockers, are often prescribed, too.
  • Pacemaker – Some types of rhythm disorders like atrial fibrillation would need medications to slow down the heart rate and occasionally the heart rate can be too slow. In that event this may be treated using an internal pacemaker. This small device is surgically implanted under the skin and emits an electrical pulse to assist the heart.
  • Ablation – This may be an option to destroy extra electrical pathways or prevent atrial fibrillation from recurring.

Contact Us

For more information on tachycardia, or to seek treatment, contact Brookhaven Heart by calling 631-654-3278. We’re happy to help!