Comprehensive care for patients with irregular heartbeats
An arrhythmia is the medical term for an irregular heartbeat. People with arrhythmias may feel a fluttering or racing in their heart, while others may not notice anything at all. While many arrhythmias are harmless, some could be indicators of a weak heart. It is important to have them diagnosed so that your doctor knows to keep a close eye on your heart.
Diagnosing an arrhythmia
Some arrhythmias are so subtle that they have no symptoms, but others can be severe enough that you can actually feel the difference in the way your heart beats.
Some noticeable signs of an arrhythmia include:
- A racing heartbeat
- Fluttering sensations in the chest
- Frequent dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chronic fatigue
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Keep in mind that these could be symptoms of different health issues. You should schedule an appointment with your doctor for an official diagnosis if you think you have an arrhythmia. A physician may be able to diagnose an irregular heartbeat simply by listening to the heart, but in some cases, an EKG test will be needed. This is a painless, noninvasive test that evaluates how hard the heart is working.
An arrhythmia will only require treatment if it poses a serious risk to your health. Sometimes treatment involves treating the heartbeat itself, while other times your doctor will direct treatment at the underlying cause of the arrhythmia.
Treatment for an arrhythmia may involve:
- Mild electric shocks to the heart (cardioversion)
- Destroying diseases heart muscle causing the arrhythmia
- Medications to control the heartbeat
- Implanting a pacemaker
- Vagal maneuvers, which are special exercises you can do to get the heart back into a normal rhythm
- An ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) which automatically sends an electrical shock to the heart when it detects an abnormal rhythm
Our cardiologists offer many treatments that can help you keep an arrhythmia under control. We work closely with patients to determine a plan of action that best meets their unique needs.