Arrhythmias refer to a change in the heart’s regular rhythm. It can feel like your heart suddenly speeds up, slows down or stops, or simply beats in a strange, abnormal rhythm. Almost everyone has felt this irregularity at least once in their lifetime. Arrhythmias are extremely common, especially as you get older, and in most cases, they’re nothing to be worried about. Millions of people experience arrhythmias annually. However, on rare occasions, arrhythmias can indicate something severely wrong with the heart.
Symptoms of arrhythmias present themselves on a broad range from barely noticeable to heart failure. Premature beats are called palpitations, and a rapid succession of these can often feel like a fluttering sensation in your chest or neck. If an arrhythmia lasts long enough, you will begin to notice a wider range of serious symptoms including:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden cardiac arrest
It’s important to understand how arrhythmias present themselves and talk to a doctor if you are worried about an arrhythmia experience.
If your doctor shares your concern, they may give you a cardiac monitor to record your heart’s activities. Although there are different types, cardiac monitors are generally small battery operated recorders that you wear around your chest or waist. While you go about your daily activities, the monitor records the electric activity in your heart. You will also be instructed to keep a journal of your activities so your doctor has something to reference when your heart shows different levels of stress. After the recording time, the doctor will review the results and let you know if there is anything wrong and if there are any other actions that need to be taken.
To learn more about arrhythmia monitoring and the devices used to record them, take a look at the Medicomp, Inc. blog today!