An arrhythmia is an electrical disturbance in the hearts normal rate and rhythm, causing the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or with an irregular rhythm.

 

There are many types of arrhythmias, some of which can be harmless. However, many arrhythmias can be very serious or even life threatening.

 

There are many types of arrhythmias, some of which are harmless.
However, many arrhythmias can be very serious
or even life threatening.

 

Children and adults can be genetically predisposed to certain arrhythmias. There is often no warning that an arrhythmia is coming on, however you might recognize certain signs and symptoms that forewarn you of a potentially serious condition that needs further work up by your family doctor. If you have experienced any of the following signs or symptoms, or have a family member with any of the following conditions, you should schedule an evaluation with
your physician:

 

• Dizziness, weakness or lightheadedness, especially during exercise

• Fainting, or nearly fainting,

• Extreme fatigue or shortness of breath, which is out of proportion to your level of exertion

• Chest palpitations (when you feel a pause between heartbeats)

• Chest pain

• A racing heart with little or no exertion

 

Family History of:

• Arrhythmias or a pacemaker

• Unexpected death, especially before the age of 50

• Heart conditions, such as:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Long QT syndrome
Catecholaminergic ventricular tachycardia

Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome
Brugada syndrome, or other cardiac conduction abnormalities

 

Even serious arrhythmias can often be successfully treated. Most children or adults who have arrhythmias are able to live normal, healthy lives. However, it is of utmost importance that you identify potential warnings or recognize a family history of an inheritable arrhythmia and see your family physician for the proper evaluation. It could be life saving!!

What is an Arrhythmia?