The Many Faces of Arrhythmia

The average human heart beats about 100,000 times a day at a specific rate and rhythm. While an occasional skipped beat or palpitation isn’t typically serious, a pattern of irregularity can have a significant impact on your physical wellbeing.  

The expert team at Premier Cardiology Consultants is well-known for providing cutting-edge cardiac care in four locations convenient to residents of New York City and its surrounding boroughs. Learn what these top-rated specialists have to say about the many types of arrhythmia and what they might mean for your health.

Understanding arrhythmia

Your body counts on your heart to supply the nutrient-rich blood it needs to function normally. To accomplish its herculean task of pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood per day through your arteries and veins, your heart normally beats at a steady rate and rhythm that’s controlled by electrical impulses arising from your heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinus node.

Depending on your age, fitness level, and overall health, a normal resting heart rate runs between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Arrhythmia occurs If your heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular rhythm.

Very brief or temporary pauses in the regular pace and rhythm of your heart are typically harmless. When the irregular rhythm or rate of your heartbeat lasts too long, however, your brain, lungs, and other organs don’t receive the blood they need, and may be damaged or shut down entirely.

Types of arrhythmia

There are many types of arrhythmia that indicate a problem with your heart function, the most common of which include:

Atrial fibrillation

Often referred to as AFib, this type of arrhythmia causes a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other serious conditions.

Bradycardia

This type of arrhythmia refers to a heart rate that’s too slow, generally under 60 beats per minute. Note that very physically fit individuals often have a resting heart rate under 60, which is considered normal.

Tachycardia

Tachycardia refers to a heart rate that’s too fast, generally over 100 beats per minute. This arrhythmia can prevent your heart from filling completely, which prevents sufficient blood from flowing to the rest of your body with each beat.

Conduction disorders

Conduction disorders affect the way electrical impulses travel through the heart’s four chambers, which can lead to irregular heartbeats.

Premature contractions

If you’ve ever felt like your heart skipped a beat, you’ve likely sensed a premature contraction. These are relatively common, and most people experience the sensation occasionally. When they occur frequently or for prolonged periods, however, they may indicate heart injury or disease.

Treating arrhythmia

Treatment for arrhythmia depends on the type and its underlying cause. At Premier Cardiology Consultants, we’re able to perform thorough diagnostic testing and design individualized treatment strategies that protect your heart function and overall health.

For an expert evaluation of and treatment plan for your heart, including arrhythmia detection, call any of our locations or send us a message online.

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