The heart can is one of the most complex organs in the human body, and it has several nodes, chambers, and valves. In addition, the heart is majorly responsible for how well the other parts of your body function. It acts as an organ that transports blood throughout the body. Therefore, when there is an abnormality of such function caused by the damage or disruption of such a complex system, there will be a noticeable change in the rhythm of your heart. This is medically termed “Arrhythmias.”
Arrhythmias may occur with or without symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Pain in the chest;
- Shortness of breath;
There are different types of abnormal heart rhythms. However, you should note that not all abnormal heart rates are life-threatening. Nevertheless, you should always consult your doctor in case of any abnormality within the heart. This article will subsequently discuss the various abnormal heart rhythms that can occur in a person.
Types of Abnormal Heart Rhythms
There are many common types of abnormal heart rates. These include:
- Tachycardia: This type of heart abnormality implies that your heart is beating too fast. This abnormal heart rhythm typically has a patient’s resting heart rate at over 100 beats per minute (bpm). This is higher than the standard resting rate of a healthy adult patient, which hovers between 60 to 100 bpm. There are three sub-types of this heart condition:
- Sinus Tachycardia: This sub-type is an increased heart rate that occurs as a response to pain, dehydration, rigorous exercises, and so on. However, with this type of heart rhythm, the heartbeat will return to its regular heartbeat once your body is calmer or you feel better.
- Supraventricular Tachycardia: This abnormal heart rate begins in the upper chamber of your heart, which is termed “atria.”
- Ventricular Tachycardia: Finally, this sub-type is the fast rhythm of your heart that occurs in the ventricles -the lower chambers of your heart.
- Atrial Fibrillation: This abnormal heart rhythm occurs within the heart’s upper chambers and is the most common type of arrhythmia. Also known as AFib, this is an unstable condition of the heart where there is an instability in the electrical impulses of the organ, causing the heart to misfire and, subsequently, making your atria quiver erratically. This abnormality increases your heart’s rate between 80 to 180 bpm.
- Atrial Flutter: Further, atrial flutter is when there is an abnormality in the right atrium, which is one of the upper chambers of the heart and results in the rapid rhythm of the atrial. This can also occur in the left atrium, and it occurs because of an abnormality in the heart’s electrical circuit. Therefore, there may be no issue with the overall rhythm of the heart, but the heart rate may be faster than usual.
- Bradycardia: When your heart rate moves at 60 bpm or less, you are diagnosed with bradycardia. This generally occurs when electrical signals are disrupted, typically moving from the atria to the ventricles. Although, persons such as athletes typically have slower heart rates because their bodies are in good shape and form. Therefore, the slow heart rate does not result from a heart problem.
- Ventricular Fibrillation: This type of abnormality is usually life-threatening and involves the ventricles’ rapid and erratic beating. This hinders the proper flow of blood from your heart, ultimately leading to death.
- Premature Contractions: Finally, premature contractions define an abnormality where the heartbeat occurs earlier than scheduled. This can either occur in the atrium -and experts often call it the “premature atrial contraction- or in the ventricle -premature ventricle contraction.
In any abnormality in the rhythm of your heartbeat, it is essential to consult a doctor for professional medical advice. Doctors will perform a physical examination using either the stethoscope or the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine.