If you have an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, it may point to a more serious underlying health problem. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to diagnose and treat arrhythmias safely. At Heart and Vascular Care in Plano, Texas, board-certified cardiologist Bhupinder Singh, MD, works with men and women who have arrhythmias. Using advanced treatments, including implantable cardioverter defibrillators and pacemakers, he can help you feel better. To schedule your appointment, call the office or book online today.
An arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation) occurs when your heart beats out of rhythm. Most arrhythmias are harmless and result in sensations of fluttering or racing. In some cases, though, arrhythmias cause bothersome or even life-threatening complications.
Arrhythmias vary from person to person. Some slow the heart down; others speed it up. If you have a weak or damaged heart muscle, you’re also more likely to develop an arrhythmia.
There are several types of arrhythmia, including:
Tachycardia is an arrhythmia characterized by a fast heartbeat. If your resting heart rate is greater than 100 beats per minute, you have tachycardia. There are several types of tachycardia, including supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT), sustained ventricular tachycardia ventricular fibrillation, atrial flutter, and atrial tachycardia.
Another type of tachycardia is Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. This condition occurs if you have an extra electrical pathway between the atria and ventricles of your heart. It usually doesn’t present symptoms until a patient reaches adulthood.
Bradycardia is an arrhythmia characterized by a slow heartbeat. If your resting heart rate is lower than 60 beats per minute, you have bradycardia. Some people with bradycardia also experience tachycardia-bradycardia, a syndrome in which fast and slow heart rhythms alternate.
The symptoms of arrhythmias depend on their severity and location in the heart. Common indications include:
If you have an arrhythmia, you might also experience periods of weakness or fatigue, and spells of fainting or near fainting.
To diagnose arrhythmias, Dr. Singh conducts a physical exam and reviews your medical history and symptoms. He also conducts a series of tests to rule out thyroid disease or another heart-related problem.
Depending on your symptoms, Dr. Singh might also order diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or an echocardiogram.
If your symptoms are sporadic or occur infrequently, you might benefit from an implantable loop recorder, 30-day event monitors, or outpatient telemetry for palpitations. These tests monitor your heartbeat throughout the day and provide Dr. Singh with key insights for treatment.
Treatment of arrhythmia depends on the frequency and severity of your symptoms. At Heart and Vascular Care, Dr. Singh usually recommends a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, electrical devices, and prescription medications.
Some of the treatment modalities Dr. Singh offers include:
The type of treatment you’ll benefit from the most depends on several factors, including your health history, the severity of your arrhythmia, and your treatment goals. Dr. Singh tailors custom care plans for each of his patients to ensure they achieve the best possible outcome.
To schedule your arrhythmia appointment at Heart and Vascular Care, call the office or book online today.