A normal heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute. But sometimes heart beats with an irregular pattern. Heart arrhythmia is a disorder of the heart rhythm. Heart beats irregularly, too fast or too slow.
In most cases periodical heart rate “skipping” is harmless but there are cases when you need to pay more attention and ask for a medical advice.
Warning signs saying “you should call your doctor”:
- Irregular heart rhythm is accompanied by other symptoms, including fainting or feeling of becoming unconscious, shortness of breath, feeling of choking or chest pain.
- Arrhythmia lasts longer than 30 seconds.
- The person had a heart attack or heart evasion – any change in heart rate is a reason to seek medical help.
The most common form of arrhythmia is called atrial fibrillation. Most common symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular pulse
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical activity or emotional stress
- Weakness, fatigue
- Dizziness, confusion
- Transient loss of consciousness (syncope)
- Chest pain (angina pectoris)
Atrial fibrillation is often revealed during routine medical examinations, because many people can not notice any visible symptoms. Others may notice irregular pulse, but without the presence of other signs of illness.
Mild symptoms can develop immediately, and more serious problems can occur in the days after atrial fibrillation has started. It is very important to recognize these symptoms and treat atrial fibrillation as early as possible to avoid more serious problems.
Serious complications such as heart attack may occur before detecting atrial fibrillation.