Bradycardia and Tachycardia

Bradycardia and Tachycardia Treatment

Bradycardia and Tachycardia are two forms of irregular heart rates or arrhythmias. These arrhythmias occur in the upper or lower chambers of the heart. The normal heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute.

What Is Bradycardia?

This is an irregularly slow heart rate. When the electrical impulse that tells your heart to contract is not formed in your heart’s natural pacemaker—the SA node—the natural rhythm of the heart will be thrown off. Bradycardia most often affects elderly people, however, it has been seen in very young people as well. There are normally two causes of Bradycardia: When the central nervous system is not sending the proper message to the heart to beat due to damage or when the heart’s natural pacemaker is damaged.

What Is Tachycardia?

This is an irregularly fast heart rate (100 beats per minute or more). Depending on where the fast heart rate begins (what chamber of the heart) will determine what type of tachycardia it will be classified as ventricular or supraventricular.

Bradycardia and Tachycardia Symptoms

  • Near-fainting or fainting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Memory problems
  • Tiring quickly during physical activities
  • Feeling like your heart is racing/palpitations
  • Seizures

Causes of Bradycardia and Tachycardia

Both Bradycardia and Tachycardia are caused by an electrical problem within the heart. The Sinus node (the heart’s natural pacemaker), located in the right atrium, sets the beat that the heart will function at. The electrical imbalance is what causes the Sinus node to operate improperly. Although this is a problem, it is not untreatable. Other causes of Bradycardia and Tachycardia are:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Pre-existing heart conditions
  • Infections
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Medications
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Anemia
  • Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure

Devices such as pacemakers, medications and procedures can remedy the situation. Either a slow heart rate (Bradycardia) or a fast heart rate (Tachycardia) can turn into a severe issue if not treated promptly and correctly so make sure to contact your doctor to determine the best plan of care for you.

Ways to Prevent Bradycardia and Tachycardia

Both conditions can have a range of causes from underlying medical conditions to lifestyle factors. It’s essential to prevent or manage them to maintain good heart health. Here are some ways to prevent bradycardia and tachycardia:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, release positive endorphins, and improve mental clarity
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • Do not use recreational drugs as they may have stimulants within them
  • Manage stress because stress adversely affects the heart
  • Go to scheduled visits with your doctor
  • Limit caffeine as it is a stimulant and may cause an elevated heart rate
  • Use over-the-counter drugs with caution as some ingredients (stimulants) may cause an elevated heart rate
  • Avoid excess alcohol intake

Tachycardia and Bradycardia Treatment With AMS

It is important to remember that those with Bradycardia (low heart rate) and Tachycardia (high heart rate) have treatment options. Treatment largely depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional, like the cardiologists at AMS, for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Here are the general treatments for both bradycardia and tachycardia:  

  • Medications 
  • Cardiac Pacing
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Surgery
  • Cardioversion
  • Implantable Devices

If you’re seeking Tachycardia and Bradycardia treatment in the Montgomery County, PA area, consider contacting AMS Cardiology. We have several locations, including our Welsh Road, North Wales and Abington offices, to best serve your heart health needs. Contact us today at 215-517-1000 to schedule an appointment.

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