Heart Arrhythmias

Irregular heartbeats can lead to Heart Arrhythmia where some have no distinct consequences however some types might be fatal. Factors that are involved includes the duration the arrhythmia and the effects it had on blood flow and blood pressure.

Arrhythmias can lead to the heart beating too slowly (below 50 beats per minutes), too quickly (greater tahn 100 beats per minutes), or irregularly.

There are different types of Heart Arrhythmias that includes:

- Premature (extra) beats

- Supraventricular Arrhythmias

- Ventricular Arrhythmias

- Ventricular Fibrillation

- Ventricular Tachycardia


Causes

There is a higher chance for the risk in Heart Arrhythmias occuring with age, and the condition can happen even if an individual's heart is healthy. In certain cases, the cause might still remain undetected. Although, the condition is commonly known to be related with cardiovascular conditions that includes:

- Coronary artery disease

- Heart failure

- Heart valve disease

- High blood pressure

There are also non-related causes that can lead to Heart Arrhythmias which includes:

- An overactive thyroid gland

- Stress, excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, as well as diet pills, decongestants, and cough medicines


Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of Heart Arrhythmia can include the following:

- Chest pains

- Dizziness

- Fainting

- Palpitations (missed beats, fast heartbeat, pounding or fluttering chest sensations)

- Shortness of breath


Treatment

Most arryhthmias do not require treatment. Your doctor wil examine your condition and discuss with you about the spectrum of treatment thats available to you. These combinations might include:-

Lifestyle changes:

- Quit smoking

- Avoid activites that can trigger irregular heart beat

- Limit consumption of caffeine

- Avoid stimulants used in cough and cold medications

Medications:

- Anti-arrythmic drugs to control heart rate

- Anticoagulant therapy (blood thinners) to reduce blood clot formation

Surgery to try to control arrhythmias and restore regular heart rate:

- Pacemakers, defibrillators, and cardiac implants. These small electrical devices are implanted in the cheat and produces electrical energy by filling in the missing beats and restoring heart function close to normal. These can be temporary or permanent insertions.

- Electrophysical Studies (EP) is performed under a local anaesthetic, this procedure uses heart stimulators with controlled electrical pulses to locate the source of obstruction or irregular beats.

- Catheter Ablation will most likely cure arrhythmia and is essentially done post-EP studies and in the occasion of ineffective medication. This procedures works by using several thin tubes (catheters) with electrodes that are inserted into the blood vessels and directed into the heart. Radiofrequency energy (similar to microwave heat) removes the area of the heart muscle that is causing the irregular beats.

Complications & Related Diseases
Often, Heart Arrythmias are treatable and do not lead to extreme complications. Although, in some cases where improper treatment is used it can lead to sudden faints, strokes, and even heart failures.

Our Specialists

Dr. Ahmad Ashraf Zaini Anwar
Specialty
Internal Medicine
Interventional Cardiology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu
Dr. Chu Chong Mow
Specialty
Internal Medicine
Interventional Cardiology
Location
Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu

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