Does Bradycardia Require Treatment
If your heart rate is slow, but you dont have symptoms, theres no reason to worry. However, its a good idea to know the signs of trouble because bradycardia in some cases does require treatment.
For example, if your heart rate drops into the 30s, you might not get enough oxygen to your brain, making fainting, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath possible. Blood can also pool in your heart chambers, causing congestive heart failure.
Sleep And High Blood Pressure
Several studies have shown that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at a much greater risk of having high blood pressure. OSA causes your oxygen level to drop. Your heart beats faster due to the lack of oxygen. This causes your blood pressure to rise. Over time, this can lead to an ongoing increase in blood pressure. It is important to treat high blood pressure since it is a proven cause of other forms of cardiovascular disease. This includes heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
But treating high blood pressure may not be enough. When high blood pressure does not respond well to treatment, it is often due to the presence of untreated sleep apnea. Once the OSA is treated, then the high blood pressure tends to improve as well. It is vital for your doctor to determine if a sleep disorder such as OSA is a factor in your high blood pressure.
Ii Sleep And Cardiovascular Disease
Sleep and sleep disorders both play a role in cardiovascular disease . The exact role that they play is still not quite clear. One thing that is certain is that there is a higher risk of sudden cardiac death in the first few hours after you wake up. This may be due to the amount of work your heart has to do when your body gets up and moving again. CVD is a leading cause of death in the U.S. It takes the life of nearly 2,600 Americans every day.
Common forms of CVD include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Congenital heart defects
People with obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have higher rates of coronary heart disease and strokes. People who have had a heart attack are more likely to have OSA than those without heart disease. It can be even harder for someone to fully recover from a heart attack if their OSA is not treated.
OSA is a sleep disorder that occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airway. This is very common, because the muscles inside the throat relax as you sleep. You stop breathing, keeping the oxygen you need from getting to the lungs. When you stop breathing, your body wakes up. It happens so quickly, you aren’t even aware of it. You can stop breathing hundreds of times in one night. Being treated for OSA reduces your risk of death due to CVD.
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How Are Arrhythmias Treated
Many arrhythmias don’t need treatment. For those that do, these options might be used:
- Medicines. Many types of prescription anti-arrhythmic medicines are available to treat arrhythmia. Sometimes, these can increase symptoms and cause side effects, so the patient will be closely watched by the doctor.
- Pacemakers. A pacemaker is a small battery-operated device implanted into the body through a surgical procedure. Connected to the heart by a wire, a pacemaker can detect if the heart rate is too slow and send electrical signals to speed up the heartbeat.
- Defibrillators. A small battery-operated implantable cardioverter defibrillator is surgically placed near the left collarbone. Wires run from the defibrillator to the heart. The ICD senses if the heart has a dangerously fast or irregular rhythm and sends an electrical signal to restore a normal heartbeat.
- Catheter ablation. A catheter is guided through a vein in the leg to the heart. Arrhythmias often are caused by microscopic defects in the heart muscle. Once the problem area of the heart is pinpointed, the catheter heats or freezes the defective muscle cells and destroys them.
- Surgery. Surgery is usually the treatment recommended only if all other options have failed. In this case, a person is put under anesthesia and a surgeon removes the tissue causing the arrhythmia.
Understanding Your Heart Rate By The Numbers
You can measure your own heart rate. First, find your heart rate by holding a finger to the radial artery at the wrist. Then, count the number of beats per minute while youre resting.
Other places your heart rate can be measured are at the neck , the groin , and the feet .
Here are some numbers to keep in mind:
- The resting adult heart rate is normally
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When Changes In Heart Rhythms Warrant A Physicians Attention
Though most fluctuations in heart rhythms will likely be harmless, there are times your first response should be to seek medical advice.
- Your symptoms are sudden and abnormal. If theres a clear first time that you notice a rhythm change in your heart, its a good idea to alert your doctor, Anderson says. You should also call your doctor when a change in heart rhythms corresponds to chest pain, losing consciousness or a prolonged sense that you might pass out. Likewise, contact a medical professional if a rhythmic abnormality persists.
- Your history involves other heart issues. If you were born with a malformation if youve had heart surgery if youve had a heart attack or long-standing, untreated high blood pressure or if there is something otherwise abnormal with your heart and you notice abnormal heart rhythms, you should see your doctor.
- Your family history puts you at increased risk. Your doctor may ask you to attend more closely to changes in your heart rhythms if your family has a history of heart disease or sudden death.
Causes Of A Slow Heart Rate
Its normal for your heart rate to change throughout the day. It speeds up when you exercise, slows down as you recover from exercising, and is usually at its lowest while you sleep.
Sometimes people have a slower heart rate than normal. This is called bradycardia, and it isnt necessarily a problem. Its diagnosed when your heart beats less than 60 beats per minute.
There are several causes of a slow heart rate. The most common are being young or physically fit. The heart is a muscle, and just like the other muscles in your body, it responds positively to exercise. When youre in good shape, your heart doesnt need to beat as often to supply your body with enough oxygen.
But a slow heart rate can also be a sign of a medical problem, such as a heart condition. If your resting heart rate is slow and you have other symptoms of bradycardia such as lightheadedness, call your doctor or go to the ER.
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When To Contact A Doctor
If a baby has a low pulse, a parent or caregiver should take them to the emergency room.
Adults and children who have a low pulse and experience symptoms such as chest pain, fainting, or exercise intolerance should also go to the hospital.
A person should contact a doctor about bradycardia when they:
- experience an unexplained change in heart rate that lasts for several days
- have bradycardia and other heart health risk factors, such as diabetes or smoking
- have heart disease and bradycardia
- experience bradycardia and other symptoms, such as fainting spells
- experience episodes of bradycardia and tachycardia, which is a rapid heartbeat
If a person is concerned about their slow heart rate, they should also consult a doctor.
A doctor may not always need to treat a slow heart rate. However, when a slow heart rate causes serious health problems, it is essential that a person receives treatment.
The treatment an individual receives for their bradycardia
a pacemaker. This is a device that is implanted under a persons skin and connected to their heart. The pacemaker then sends impulses to the heart that cause it to beat regularly.
Depending on the cause, a doctor might also recommend:
- changing heart medications
- taking medication to treat thyroid or other metabolic disorders
- making lifestyle changes, such as eating a low fat diet, getting more exercise, or quitting smoking
- monitoring heart rate or blood pressure frequently
When To See A Doctor
If you or a loved one notices mild to medium symptoms, go to a doctor quickly.
If you or a loved one faints, has chest pains or trouble breathing, call 911.
Tiredness, trouble concentrating, or breathing harder may just seem like part of growing older. But sometimes itâs more than that.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all your symptoms. If you wear out more easily now than you did a month or year ago, let them know.
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How Can You Care For Yourself
Bradycardia is often the result of another heart condition, so taking steps to live a heart-healthy lifestyle will usually improve your overall health. The steps include:
- Having a heart-healthy eating plan that includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean meat, fish, and whole grains. Limit alcohol, sodium, and sugar.
- Being active on most, if not all, days of the week. Your doctor can tell you what level of exercise is safe for you.
- Losing weight if you need to, and staying at a healthy weight.
- Not smoking.
- Managing other health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Iv Sleep And A Healthy Heart
There are many things you can do to keep your heart healthy. You should be sure to do the following:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Watch out for and treat high blood pressure
- Get regular medical check-ups
Another thing you can do is to make sure that you get enough sleep to keep your body well rested. You can often sleep better by simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. See the Resources section of this site to find out how you can start down the path to better sleep.
Watch for signs that you may have a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can put great stress on your heart. Men who are overweight and have large necks are most likely to have OSA.
Symptoms of OSA include the following:
- Loud snoring
- Gasping for breath or choking while asleep
- Trouble staying awake during the daytime
You may not be aware of these signs because they only occur while you are sleeping. Your breathing is normal when you are awake. Ask a bed partner or someone else who has observed your sleep to find out if you snore or stop breathing during your sleep.
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Sleep And Coronary Artery Disease
People with obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have higher rates of coronary artery disease . There are two main reasons why this may occur:
CAD limits the flow of blood due to narrow arteries. This prevents the right amount of oxygen from reaching the heart. Sleep apnea also causes the blood oxygen level to drop during pauses in breathing. This leads to a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure. An extra strain is put on the heart. The amount of oxygen sent to the heart decreases at the time when the heart needs more oxygen. Studies have shown that the presence of OSA increases the risk of death from CAD. But if the sleep apnea is treated, death due to CAD is reduced.
I Am Not Sure Whether I Am Hypertensive Or Normal For My Age 74 Years Old Could You Enlighten Me
Expert advice: Dr Martin Scurr explains the difference between blood pressure and pulse rate
Your worries about blood pressure are understandable but your pulse rate is more cause for concern.
Your pulse which effectively reflects your heartbeat should be around 60 to 80 beats a minute at rest. This can vary slightly with mood, temperature, whether you have been eating, and other factors drugs such as beta-blockers, for instance, can lower heart rate, but you dont mention being on these.
A pulse of less than 55 to 60 is considered slow and could be the first evidence of a problem with the hearts natural pacemaker, the sino-atrial node a condition known as sinus bradycardia, or sick sinus syndrome.
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Do You Think An Op Will Be Required
John Clark, W Lothian.
You have suffered a most unpleasant and frightening emergency the complete inability to pass urine. This is known as acute retention, and in your case was due to benign prostatic hyperplasia , a condition that causes non cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This condition becomes increasingly common as men age.
In the years before the emergency occurred, I would expect you to have experienced some or much of the following: increased frequency of urination, getting up to empty your bladder more than once at night, sometimes finding it hard to start , occasional acute urgency when you almost cant wait, and a poor stream.
All these symptoms occur because of the way the bladder and prostate is arranged: the prostate is wrapped around the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside. And as the prostate slowly enlarges as you get older, this tube narrows. The sensitive lower part of the bladder is also slightly distorted, triggering the symptoms.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms.
You may be asked:
- Do you feel skipped or stopped beats?
- Does your heart rate feel slow or fast when you have the palpitations?
- Do you feel a racing, pounding, or fluttering?
- Is there a regular or irregular pattern to the unusual heartbeat sensations?
- Did the palpitations begin or end suddenly?
- When do the palpitations occur? In response to reminders of a traumatic event? When you are lying down and resting? When you change your body position? When you feel emotional?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
An electrocardiogram may be done.
If you go to an emergency room, you will be connected to a heart monitor. However, most people with palpitations do not need to go to an emergency room for treatment.
If your provider finds you have an abnormal heart rhythm, other tests may be done. This may include:
- Holter monitor for 24 hours, or another heart monitor for 2 weeks or longer
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What To Do After Fainting
A person who has experienced VVS may feel tired, weak, and nauseated when they come round. It is important that they rest before getting up and continuing with their day.
In some cases, people should seek emergency medical attention after a fainting episode, especially if they have additional symptoms that overlap with signs of a heart attack.
Slow Heart Rate Questionnaire
Heart attacks occur because of a decrease in blood flow to the heart. This is caused by a blockage in one of the hearts major blood vessels. In about 15% to 25% of heart attacks, the blood vessel thats blocked also supplies oxygen to your hearts electrical system. When the heart doesnt get enough oxygen, you may experience a slow heart rate.
Call 911 or go to the ER right away if you suspect youre having a heart attack. Treatment depends on the severity of the heart attack. It may include a combination of medications, stents , and surgery.
Treating a heart attack usually restores normal heart rate. However, a small percentage of people may need to get a pacemaker to control their heart rate.
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Causes Of Heart Block
Some people are born with heart block known as congenital heart block.
But more commonly, heart block develops later in life. This is known as acquired heart block and can be caused by:
- other heart conditions, such as a heart attack
- some prescription medicines
- other conditions, such as Lyme disease
- having heart surgery
Babies are more likely to have congenital heart block if they’re born with a heart defect, or if their mother has an autoimmune condition, such as lupus.
Causes Of Supraventricular Tachycardia
An episode of supraventricular tachycardia occurs when abnormal electrical impulses suddenly start in the upper chambers of the heart, and override the heart’s natural rhythm.
SVT is sometimes called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia . Paroxysm means a sudden temporary disturbance of heart rhythm.
PSVT is usually caused by a short circuit in the electrical system of the heart, which causes an electrical signal to travel rapidly and continuously around in a circle, forcing the heart to beat each time it completes the circuit.
Another type of SVT is called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, where an abnormal electrical connection occurs between the atria and ventricles . People with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are born with a strand of extra muscle tissue between these chambers. This produces a short circuit, which causes the fast heartbeat.
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Causes That Can Lead To Heart Rate Spikes
It feels scary when we find that our heartbeat suddenly speeds up and then our heart jumps out. Dr. Ilona Sztancsik, a cardiologist, anesthesiologist and intensive therapist at the Cardio Center, drew attention to the fact that occasional pulse surges should not be taken lightly.
What could be the reason for the pulse jump?
Special muscle cells called myocytes, among others, are responsible for operating the heartbeat as a process. When these muscle cells receive a signal from the brain that the heart needs to switch to a higher speed, they immediately move into motion. The result of their work is that the heart will contract several times per minute, meaning your heart rate will rise.
But what is it that causes the brain to decide that the heart has to work harder? Increase in oxygen demand. That is, if we experience a sudden rise in our heart rate, there is certainly a reason for it.
Here are 6 common reasons