Are Heart Palpitations Dangerous?

Even perfectly healthy hearts may seem to skip a beat now and then. But is that occasional irregularity, commonly known as a heart palpitation, dangerous? Maybe. Maybe not.

Premier Cardiology Consultants provides stellar cardiac care to New Yorkers from locations in New Hyde Park on Long Island, and Forest Hills, Rochdale, Jamaica, and Richmond Hill in Queens. Our board-certified experts focus their extensive training and medical skill on delivering highly accurate diagnostic testing and life-saving therapies for numerous conditions that affect the health of your heart.

We’re also committed to providing practical information that’s designed to help you understand how healthy hearts function. Learn more from our team about heart palpitations, what they mean, and when it’s time to see a specialist.   

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are physical sensations that may cause you to feel like your heart is:

Most of us experience heart palpitations from time to time. These brief glitches are typically of no real health significance. Sometimes, though, the symptoms may signal an underlying abnormality that requires further testing and treatment.

What causes heart palpitations?

Causes of heart palpitations include everything from overindulging in caffeine to structural abnormalities within the heart. Some of the more common triggers include:

Some individuals notice palpitations at rest, when they’re simply more conscious of what’s essentially a normal heart rhythm, such as when they’re drifting off to sleep.

In some cases, however, heart palpitations are linked to an underlying issue that requires further evaluation and treatment. These conditions include:

It’s also important to note that certain prescription medications, such as diuretics used to treat hypertension, can cause electrolyte imbalances and other effects that may induce heart palpitations.

When to see a doctor about heart palpitations

We typically recommend you come in for an evaluation if you experience frequent or prolonged palpitations. Otherwise, let your symptoms be your guide. If, for instance, your heartbeat becomes noticeably fast or irregular for no apparent reason, such as when you’re resting comfortably on the couch, check in with your Premier Cardiology specialist.

Seek immediate medical care if the palpitations are accompanied by:

It’s also important to be aware of the potential side effects of any prescription or over-the-counter medication you take. 

Never stop a medication that’s been prescribed before checking with your physician. We may, in some cases, recommend alterations in the dose or a change to a different medication following an evaluation if we determine the palpitations are linked to a particular drug.

Be sure to take prescription medications exactly as directed. Skipping doses or altering the timing of some medications, especially beta blockers and other blood pressure medicines, may lead to palpitations.

Also, we recommend our patients call us sooner rather than later if they have known cardiovascular disease and notice changes in the frequency, duration, or overall characteristics of previously documented heart palpitations.

For outstanding cardiac care that may include investigating the cause of your heart palpitations, schedule a visit at Premier Cardiology Consultants by calling any of our locations, or booking online today.

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