Abnormal heart rhythms can cause alarming irregularities and make your heart beat twice as fast as it should. If you've been experiencing abnormal heart rhythms, the board-certified cardiology team at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates in Delray Beach, Florida, can help. They have specialized expertise in diagnosing the causes of abnormal heart rhythms, which can range from not serious to potentially life-threatening. They also provide the most advanced, minimally invasive treatments. Call South Palm Cardiovascular Associates today to schedule a consultation or book using the online form.
An abnormal heart rhythm varies from the regular beat of a healthy heart. A typical adult heart beats 60-100 times a minute at rest. If your heart goes faster, slower, or its rhythm varies, you have an abnormal heartbeat.
Abnormal heart rhythms can signal heart problems that could be serious in some instances. However, having an abnormal heart rhythm doesn't necessarily mean you have a heart condition that needs treatment.
If you experience any abnormality in your heart's rhythm, the expert cardiologists at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates can find out why and provide you with the highest-quality care.
Common types of abnormal heart rhythm include:
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a disorganized heart rhythm affecting the upper chambers of your heart. AFib occurs if unstable electrical impulses start misfiring. Your heart rate could go up to 200 beats per minute (BPM) and beat irregularly.
An atrial flutter most often affects the right atrium — one of two upper chambers in your heart. Atrial flutters occur when a single electrical impulse crosses the affected atrium, resulting in a faster heart rate.
A tachycardia heart is beating too fast — over 100 BPM at rest. Tachycardia can affect your heart's upper chambers (supraventricular tachycardia) or the lower chambers (ventricular tachycardia).
The increase in your heart rate that occurs if you're sick or when you get excited is called sinus tachycardia. This is normal and disappears when you recover.
Having bradycardia means you have a heart rate below 60 BPM. This form of abnormal heart rhythm typically occurs when there's a disruption in the electrical signals between your heart's atria and ventricles.
Ventricular fibrillation (VF) is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. It can stop the heart from beating and cause cardiac arrest. It occurs when an irregular heartbeat prevents the ventricles from pumping blood out of your heart to the rest of your body.
Causes of abnormal heart rhythms include:
To diagnose the cause of your abnormal heart rhythm, the South Palm Cardiovascular Associates team conducts a physical examination and records the electrical activity in your heart using an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG).
If the ECG doesn't provide sufficient information, you might need to have an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound scan of your heart. You might need to undergo a stress test or wear a Holter monitor, which records your heart's rhythm over a longer period.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is essential to ensure that you get the right treatment. Call South Palm Cardiovascular Associates today if your heart has an abnormal rhythm, or book an appointment online.