Any change in the beat of your heart is referred to as an arrhythmia, whether your beat is too slow, too fast, or erratic. Changes in the rhythm of your heartbeat may be harmless, but may also be a symptom of an underlying cardiac condition. At Modern Heart and Vascular Institute in Humble, TX, Katy, TX & Cleveland, TX, Rajiv Agarwal, MD, uses advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to assess and treat cardiovascular conditions like arrhythmia. For an evaluation, call one of our offices or book through the online tool.
An arrhythmia refers to a heart rhythm problem and occurs when the electrical impulses that manage your heartbeat are no longer in sync. The changes in the rhythm may cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
The rhythm of your heart is controlled by your sinus node, or natural pacemaker, which produces an electrical impulse that initiates your heartbeat, triggering the right atrium in your heart to contract and pump blood to your ventricle.
The electrical impulse then moves to the atrioventricular node, which delays signaling to allow time for the ventricles to fill with blood, and then the electrical impulse moves to the ventricles to signal muscle contraction.
With an arrhythmia, you may feel as though your heart is racing or fluttering. Though your arrhythmia may be harmless, it may also be a symptom of a more serious heart condition and should be evaluated.
Arrhythmias are classified into types based on whether they start in the atrium or ventricle of your heart and whether the rhythm change causes your heart to beat too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). Common types of arrhythmias include:
If it feels as though your heart is skipping a beat, you may have a premature heartbeat, which is actually an extra heartbeat. Though not always serious, a premature heartbeat may lead to a long-term arrhythmia.
Arrhythmias don’t always cause symptoms and it may not be discovered until your annual wellness exam. To determine the underlying cause of your arrhythmia, Dr. Agarwal at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute conducts comprehensive evaluations using advanced diagnostic tools.
During your exam, he reviews your medical and family history, then performs a physical exam. To better understand the cause of your arrhythmia, Dr. Agarwal may perform an echo-vascular stress test, CT scan, or PET scan.
Treatment for your arrhythmia may depend on the type of arrhythmia you have and the effects it has on your heart. In some cases, you may not need any treatment at all. However, Dr. Agarwal may recommend lifestyle changes to improve heart health.
If treatment is needed, your plan may include:
In some cases, surgery is necessary to correct the arrhythmia. Dr. Agarwal reviews the specifics of your treatment plan so you understand your diagnosis and the recommended treatment.
For a comprehensive evaluation for your arrhythmia, contact Modern Heart and Vascular Institute by phone or through the online booking tool today.