Cardiac arrythmia is used to describe an unnatural change in the beating function of the heart. When the heart works correctly an electrical impulse travels through it, causing the muscles to contract in a very particular order. If there is any interruption or delay in this impulse, a person might feel a “fluttering” in their chest. This feeling is quite likely a sign of an arrythmia.

Arrythmias are common, especially as we age. However, they can also be a sign of serious heart problems. If you feel a fluttering or as if your heart skips beats, it’s best to consult with your physician immediately to determine whether you have a serious condition in need of medical care or not.

Some forms of cardiac arrythmia may not be easy for a person to detect. Over time the heart may speed up and beat at an unnaturally high rate due to an arrythmia called tachycardia. This can be a life-threatening condition if not treated, making a visit to a physician crucial. Some symptoms may include dizziness, fainting or the feeling that one might faint, fatigue or a light head, or the feeling of an elevated heart beat. These forms of arrythmia can quickly turn fatal, and may require the use of internal cardioverter defibulators (ICDs) or automated external defibulators (AEDs).

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Another form of arrythmia is known as bradycardia. It is much the opposite of tachycardia, in that the heartbeat slows down rather than speeds up. Its symptoms can be similar to those of tachycardia, but to correct this arrythmia a pacemaker is used rather than an ICD.

Cardiac arrest and death quickly occur in some types of arrythmia, making immediate medical assistance vital to survial.

This information is not to be used as medical advice, and has not been written by a doctor. Always consult your physician before making any medical decisions or undertaking any treatment.

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