Your heart has a natural rhythm – beating at a strong and steady pace. But for some, the heart falls out of its normal rhythm. This is called arrhythmia. When an arrhythmia occurs, the heart's rhythm becomes irregular, too fast (tachyarrhythmia) or too slow (bradyarrhythmia).
Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some can be serious or even life-threatening. During an arrhythmia, the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to the body. Lack of blood flow can damage the brain, heart and other organs. Heart rhythm problems in people with heart failure can be serious and make heart failure worse if they are not treated.
Be alert to symptoms that may be caused by heart rhythm problems including:
Treatment may only be required only if the arrhythmia is causing significant symptoms or if it’s putting you at risk of a more serious complication. Options might include:
If you experience any arrhythmia symptoms or have a family history of heart problems, talk to your Mercy primary care doctor. Your doctor can make an initial evaluation and refer you to one of many Mercy heart specialists.
Download this infographic to learn more about atrial fibrillation. What it feels like, risk factors and how to avoid it.