Heart rhythm disorders, called arrythmias, involve your heart beating irregularly – either too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia). People can be born with an irregular heartbeat stemming from a heart defect, or arrythmias can develop after you have a heart attack or if you’re struggling with high blood pressure or other similar condition.
Common conditions associated with heart rhythm disorders include tachycardia and bradycardia, as described above, as well as atrial fibrillation (also called AFib). AFib is the most common of these disorders and is associated with an irregular, faster heartbeat.
An irregular heartbeat can feel like your heart is fluttering or skipping a beat. Other symptoms can include:
- Feeling sweaty
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling light-headed
- Chest pain
As noted, conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease can be associated with an irregular heartbeat. Other risk factors include:
- Older age
- Congenital heart defects
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes and sleep apnea
Most arrythmias are harmless, and people can maintain normal activity without treatment. If your irregular heartbeat is significant and caused a heart event or is interfering with your everyday life, your doctor may recommend treatment such as a pacemaker, ablation (a minimally invasive catheter procedure that helps