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What Are Arrythmias?

Arrythmias, coming from Greek words a, meaning “without” and rhuthmos, meaning “rhythm,” are irregular or improper heartbeats.

Heart rhythm problems can impact the proper functioning of the heart, leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart failure. While arrythmias are not always fatal, it is important to be aware of symptoms, understand possible treatment options, and take preventative measures to protect your heart.

What Are Arrythmias

Understanding Cardiac Arrhythmias:

Cardiac arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses that regulate the heart’s beating are blocked. Rhythms are a function of the 4 chambers of the heart, and arrhythmias can occur due to specific chambers not operating fully. Arrythmias are categorized by type of irregularity and where in the heart they initiate:

  • Tachycardia: When the heart is beating too quickly, usually greater than 100 beats per minute, which can originate from either the upper or lower chambers.
    • Supraventricular tachycardia: Initiates in the atria, the upper chambers, of the heart. There are four specific types of supraventricular tachycardia including atrial tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation.
    • Ventricular tachycardia: Initiates in the lower chambers of the heart.
  • Bradycardia: When the heart is beating too slowly, usually less than 60 beats per minute.
  • Palpitations: Sensations of a racing, uncomfortable, or irregular heartbeat.

If you experience symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or chest pain, it might indicate an arrhythmia.


Identifying Arrhythmias:

When you feel your heart going arrhythmic, it signifies a disruption in the normal heart rhythm. Diagnosing arrhythmias involves a comprehensive evaluation of symptoms (such as dizziness, fainting, or chest pain), medical history, and various diagnostic tests, such as Electrocardiograms (ECGs) and Holter monitors. This helps healthcare professionals to evaluate the type and severity of the arrhythmia.

“Electrocardiograms (ECGs), developed over 100 years ago, remain one of the most essential tools in diagnosing arrhythmias today.”

Treatment Options:

Medical management plays a crucial role in addressing arrhythmias. Physicians may recommend medications to regulate the heart’s rhythm or control associated symptoms. In some cases, device implantation, like pacemakers or defibrillators, may be necessary to help manage and control the heart’s rhythm effectively.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes is essential for managing arrhythmias effectively. Adopting a heart-healthy diet, adhering to medication schedules, regular check-ups, engaging in regular exercise, and quitting smoking can significantly contribute to improved heart function. It’s crucial to follow a routine, get sufficient rest, and manage stress to promote overall heart health.

What To Do Next?

Ensure you have emergency contacts readily available and know when it’s necessary to seek immediate medical attention. Following your healthcare provider’s recommendations and having a clear understanding of your medications and their timings is essential for maintaining heart health.

Arrhythmias can impact your heart’s rhythm, but with proper diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle adjustments, you can effectively manage and improve your heart health. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance based on your specific condition.

“Each year, arrhythmias are responsible for over 750,000 hospitalizations in the United States alone, underscoring the need for effective heart rhythm management.”

Where Does Rhythm Come In?

In situations where a physician recommends a device implantation such as pacemakers and defibrillators, you will need a cardiac remote management or remote monitoring solution to keep you connected and safe. Rhythm supports clinics in their workflow efficiency through bi-directional EHR (Electronic Health Record) integration using AI. Our Remote Patient Monitoring solution ensures you stay connected and receive the highest quality care.  Rhythm’s CRM and RPM are designed to track your heart’s health and flag irregularities like arrhythmias, ensuring your heart is at its safest and healthiest.