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Abnormal Heart Rhythm

The electrical system of the heart creates signals that trigger the heart to pump. These electrical signals control the heart rate and rhythm. Normally, the heart beats in a regular rhythm and at an appropriate rate for the exertion level. In other cases, a problem may occur that makes the heart beat abnormally causing an arrhythmia. Things that can cause the heart to beat abnormally include heavy smoking, alcohol use, excess caffeine or other stimulants, stress, thyroid disease, and fever.

Symptoms of an Abnormal Heart Rhythm

Many people don't realize they have an arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm disorder. They either ignore the symptoms or don't notice they have symptoms. Other patients notice a difference as soon as it occurs. Symptoms can be different for each person, depending on age, the cause of the abnormal heart rhythm disorder, and how much it affects the pumping efficiency of the heart muscle.

The most common symptoms patients may experience include:

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Irregular or rapid pulse
  • Shortness of breath
  • Racing or pounding heart, or fluttering in the chest
  • Difficulty performing everyday activities
  • Pain, pressure or tightness in the chest
  • Lightheadedness – dizziness or feeling like you could pass out

Often, patients diagnosed with an abnormal heart rhythm condition also have high rates of other serious health conditions, including:

Abnormal Heart Rhythm Treatment

When diagnosed with an arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm disorder, it is normal to experience feelings of anxiety. The specialists at Summa Health Heart and Vascular Institute can explain treatment options and plot the best course of treatment for your specific case. Treatment options may include medication, as well as:

Without treatment, an arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm disorder can cause the heart muscle to weaken. This condition, cardiomyopathy, can lead to heart failure and result in long-term disability and/or death.

Learn about Summa Health Heart Rhythm Services or schedule an appointment today.

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If your situation is an emergency, call 911.