An irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia causes excessively fast or slow beats and an irregular rhythm. If you have episodes of arrhythmia, Haleh Milani, MD, FACC, and the team at Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physicians, can help. In their office on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, the team determines the cause of your irregular heartbeat and offers treatments to help improve your quality of life. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book your next evaluation for irregular heartbeat online today.
Most people experience a brief, irregular heartbeat on occasion. These changes in your heart’s rhythm aren’t usually a cause for concern. Repeated episodes, however, could indicate an underlying problem such as heart disease, age-related heart changes, or a congenital abnormality.
Irregular heartbeats (known as arrhythmias) arise from changes in the electrical impulses governing how your heart works. There are different kinds of arrhythmias, including:
Tachycardia is an excessively fast heart rate (more than 100 beats per minute for adults).
Bradycardia is a heart rate that’s too slow (less than 60 beats per minute in adults).
AFib is where the upper chambers of your heart (atria) contract irregularly.
VFib causes chaotic contractions of your heart’s lower chambers (ventricles).
Premature atrial contractions (PACs) and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) make you feel like your heart’s skipping a beat, but it’s actually beating too soon.
To diagnose your irregular heartbeat, your provider at Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physicians, assesses your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical examination, listening to your heart through a stethoscope. They also perform an electrocardiogram (EKG) to look at the electrical activity in your heart.
You might need to have an echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound) as well. An echocardiogram creates real-time moving images of your heart and its functions.
If these tests don’t explain the reason for your irregular heartbeat, you may need to undergo further investigations, such as nuclear stress testing or wearing a portable Holter or event monitor at home.
The treatment you need for an irregular heartbeat depends on its cause. If there’s no underlying cardiac condition, your symptoms could be due to issues like excessive caffeine intake or side effects of the medication you take.
Anti-arrhythmic medication might sometimes be necessary to help regulate your heartbeat. For a more serious problem, you may need procedures like electrical cardioversion and cardiac ablation, which deliver a mild electrical current to your heart to reset the rhythm.
To find out more about irregular heartbeat and treatment options, call Central Park West Primary Care and Cardiology Physicians or book your next visit online today.