Understanding What Heart Arrhythmias Are

In a healthy adult, the human heart has around 60 to 100 beats every minute. Healthy hearts (those free of abnormalities) will have a steady beat, with each beat being just as strong as the next. Your heart’s beating is dictated by a kind of innate pacemaker known as the sinus node. The sinus node sends electrical impulses and that tells your heart when to beat. People who have a malfunctioning sinus node suffer from a condition known as heart arrhythmia.

A heart arrhythmia can be either fairly minor or quite serious, depending upon what type it is. In many cases, an arrhythmia is actually the result of lifestyle choices. Eating habits, especially the type of eating that leads to obesity, may cause arrhythmia. Other times, arrhythmia is caused by aging, drug use, extreme stress, or artery disease. Sleep apnea, a condition that causes brief periods of not breathing during sleep, may also cause arrhythmia. While there are often clear reasons that a heart problem like this occurred, in quite a few cases there are simply no clear cut reasons for the arrhythmia. In cases where the cause is known, and when the cause is a lifestyle one that can be controlled, there is much that individuals can do to correct it. However, people with no obvious cause need more medical help to correct an arrhythmia.

Heart arrhythmia is usually placed in one of two different categories. Bradycardia is an overly slow heart beat, while Tachycardia is an overly fast heart beat. Sometimes, the problem is not necessarily the speed but may lie in the pattern, for example atrial flutter is a simple arrhythmia that causes irregular beats. Atrial fibrillation is a complex heart disorder that is characterized by a quivering heart beat.

It can be difficult to identify the more complex heart problems with simple tests. Sometimes an electrocardiogram or an echocardiogram can be used to map the heart’s activity. New mapping systems like the Topera 3D Mapping diagnostic can help doctors to identify even the most complex and difficult heart problems. To learn more about arrhythmia, you can see this article at ToperaMedical.com.