Cleveland Clinic Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute Cardiologists And Surgeons
Choosing a doctor to treat your abnormal heart rhythm depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with Arrhythmias:
- Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing: cardiology evaluation for medical management or electrophysiology procedures or devices – Call Cardiology Appointments at toll-free 800.223.2273, extension 4-6697 or request an appointment online.
- Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation, epicardial lead placement, and in some cases if necessary, lead and device implantation and removal. For more information, please contact us.
What Heart Rate Is Too High
Generally, for adults, a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is considered as high.
Your heart rate usually rises when you walk fast, run, or do any strenuous physical activities.
Maximum heart rate and Target Heart Rate
Before doing any vigorous exercise, you should know your maximum heart rate and target heart rate, both of which vary by age.
Going beyond your maximum heart rate is not healthy for you. Your maximum heart rate depends on your age. This is how you can calculate it:
- Subtracting your age from the number 220 will give you your maximum heart rate. Suppose your age is 35 years, your maximum heart rate is 185 beats per minute. If your heart rate exceeds 185 beats per minute during exercise, it is dangerous for you.
- Your target heart rate zone is the range of heart rate that you should aim for if you want to become physically fit. It is calculated as 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.
- Your target heart rate helps you to know if you are exercising at the right intensity.
- It is always better to consult your doctor before starting any vigorous exercise. This is especially important if you have diabetes, heart disease, or you are a smoker. Your doctor might advise you to lower your target heart rate by 50 percent or more.
Given below are the table showing the target heart rate zone and maximum heart rate as per age.
How To Lower Resting Heart Rate
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Your Maximum Heart Rate
The rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs is your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate plays a major role in setting your aerobic capacitythe amount of oxygen you are able to consume. Several large observational studies have indicated that a high aerobic capacity is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and death. And a small controlled trial demonstrated that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who raised their aerobic capacity also improved their performance on tests of memory and reasoning.
What Treatments Are Available
Treatment for ventricular tachycardia involves managing any disease that causes the condition. These treatments may improve or prevent the abnormal heart rhythm from returning. In emergency situations, CPR, electrical defibrillation and IV medications may be needed to slow the heart rate. Nonemergency treatment usually includes radiofrequency catheter ablation or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator .
Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
Radiofrequency catheter ablation is a procedure performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist, which is a cardiologist who specializes in treating patients with heart rhythm disorders. In the first part of the procedure, the doctor uses electrophysiology techniques to pinpoint the location in the heart where the abnormal rhythm begins. In the second step, the doctor uses a catheter with a special tip that emits a high-frequency form of electrical current. The current is used to destroy a tiny amount of tissue in the area of the ventricle where the abnormal rhythm begins. This is called an ablation procedure.
Ablation of ventricular tachycardia has a long history of safety and success. For some patients, ablation completely cures the abnormal rhythm, and no other treatment is needed. Ablation can also improve treatment with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
Is A Heart Rate Of 150 Dangerous
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Can Resting Heart Rate Be Too High
Can resting heart rate be too high?
As mentioned, normal heart rate can range between 60 to 100 beats per minute. So, if your resting heart rate is consistently higher than 100, do you need to be worried?
“The more beats your heart has to take on a regular basis, the more strain it places on your heart over time. A resting heart rate regularly above 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia, which can place you at an increased risk of heart disease, and even death if your heart rate climbs high enough,” warns Dr. Chebrolu.
This means that it’s incredibly important to talk to your doctor if you’re resting heart rate is consistently high. He or she can run the tests and bloodwork needed to assess your overall heart health.
Your doctor can also recommend lifestyle changes that may help lower your resting heart rate, including:
- Getting regular exercise
- Regularly practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation
- Losing excess weight
- Maintaining healthy choices and modifying your cardiovascular risk factors
- Avoiding certain prescription and over-the-counter medications that can affect your heart rate
- Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use
“In particular, starting an exercise program can help you decrease your resting heart rate up to one beat per minute for every week or so that you train with reductions in resting heart rate, over time, ranging from 10 to 12 beats per minute,” adds Dr. Chebrolu.
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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
When To Get Help For Heart Palpitations
Most peoples hearts beat between 60 and 100 times per minute. If youre sitting down and feeling calm, your heart shouldnt beat more than about 100 times per minute. A heartbeat thats faster than this, also called tachycardia, is a reason to come to the emergency department and get checked out. We often see patients whose hearts are beating 160 beats per minute or more. The body cant sustain that for long periods of time.
You also should get checked out if you feel like your hearts beating irregularly. The heart should beat steadily, like a metronome. If you feel like its pausing or skipping beats, that could be a sign of an abnormal heartbeat, which can increase the risk of a stroke.
If a patient comes into the emergency department while the palpitations are going on, we may be able to provide medications to slow the heart rate or convert an abnormal heart rhythm to a normal one. In extreme cases where medications arent enough, we may need to do a cardioversion. Thats when we shock the heart so it can reset itself to a normal rhythm. Patients are sedated during this procedure so they do not feel the electrical shock.
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Irregular Heartbeat In Children
Change in the heart rate is normal. When your children are physically active, their heart rate is usually higher. And when they are resting, it could be lower. Likewise, the childs heart rate can increase considerably during strenuous exercises.
But when the hearts rhythm or rate changes drastically without any physiological triggers, it is abnormal. This condition is called arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. This could indicate a heart problem or other underlying medical conditions. A fast heart rate might be accompanied by palpitations , dizziness, and sometimes fainting .
When To Visit A Doctor
Often, arrhythmia or abnormal heart rate is the result of a change in physical activity, making it a common occurrence in children. However, if your childs heart rate is too fast or slow, regardless of the physical activity, and if it happens often, a medical check-up is necessary. Sometimes, erratic heart rate in children is the result of an underlying heart problem, which you should not neglect.
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What Causes A Racing Heart
Normal hearts beat 60100 times every minute. When your heart beats more than 100 times each minute, thats considered high . Fast heartbeats can last for seconds to hours.
Not all cases of a racing heartbeat are dangerous. Many everyday situations that arent related to heart problems can cause your heart to race. These can include the following:
- heavy exercise
If your doctor thinks you may have one of these conditions, your doctor may give you an EKG, a chest X-ray, or an echocardiogram to diagnose whats wrong.
Max Heart Rate Defined
Your maximum heart rate is the number of beats per minute of the heart when it’s under maximal stress. “This is most commonly calculated using the formula 220 minus your age,” says Santa Monica, California-based Shephal Doshi, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist and director of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
“But as you can imagine, there is significant variability not only by individual but also between the sexes and the type of exercise being performed, like running versus swimming, for example,” he says.
While easy to remember, Dr. Doshi and the American Heart Association note that this formula is a broad sweep and doesn’t consider critical components like:
- Changes to your heart rate as you age.
- Medical conditions that may impact your heart rate.
- Medications that can affect heart rate.
- Your current fitness level.
The gold standard for determining your max heart rate is with a true maximal exercise test, according to a study published in the September-October 2013 issue of the American Journal of Human Biology. A maximal exercise test pushes your body to its physical limit while a doctor or sometimes an exercise physiologist monitors your heart rate.
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Oral Medications And Supplements
Oral medications and supplements are often used to correct chronic mineral abnormalities in your body. This is more common in if youve been diagnosed with ongoing kidney disease.
Depending on your electrolyte disorder, you may receive medications or supplements such as:
- calcium (gluconate, carbonate, citrate, or lactate
- magnesium oxide
- potassium chloride
- phosphate binders, which include sevelamer hydrochloride , lanthanum , and calcium-based treatments such as calcium carbonate
They can help replace depleted electrolytes on a short- or long-term basis, depending on the underlying cause of your disorder. Once the imbalance has been corrected, your doctor will treat the underlying cause.
Although some of the supplements can be purchased over the counter, most people with electrolyte disorders get a prescription for supplements from their doctor.
Atrial Fibrillation & Strokes
Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition that can be life-threatening. As many as six million people in the US may have atrial fibrillation. But one in three people who have A-Fib dont know they have it.
A-Fib may also increase your chances of having a stroke.
Thats because A-Fibs irregular heartbeat lets blood pool inside the upper chambers of your heart. This pooled blood can cause blood clots, which can then travel out of your heart and into your brain, which causes a stroke.
If you think you may have A-Fib, its important to make an appointment with a cardiologist.
Further Testing For Heart Palpitations
In most cases, we see patients in the emergency department whose palpitations have either gone away or arent critical by the time they arrive. Like a car problem that clears up when you visit the mechanic, this can be frustrating for patients.
We reassure them that just because we dont see an abnormal heart rhythm now doesnt mean that they didnt have one before. We check for any signs of damage or injury, and we may monitor patients for a few hours at the emergency department to see if they have another episode of palpitions, but there may not be enough time to capture an abnormal heart rhythm that comes and goes.
We often refer patients who have had heart palpitations to a cardiologist in the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. For example, we might diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm in the emergency department, but its not something that needs emergency treatment. Or we might not see evidence of an abnormal heart rhythm, but we think the patient could benefit from additional monitoring to rule out possible heart problems.
A normal heartbeat is easy to take for granted. So when we feel heart palpitations, it can be very scary. But with quick medical attention and advanced monitoring, your heart can beat steadily for a long time to come.
To learn more about heart palpitations, please visit .
Does Your Heart Have A Maximum Number Of Beats
The maximum number of lifetime heartbeats for humans is about 3 billion. But you wont die when you reach a set number of heartbeats. Heartbeats, however, are a marker of your metabolic rate. The faster your metabolic rate , the shorter your lifespan.
The total number of heartbeats per lifetime is amazingly similar across all mammals. For example, a mouse has a heart rate of 500 to 600 beats per minute but lives less than two years. At the other extreme, a Galápagos tortoise has a heart rate of about six beats per minute and has a life expectancy of 177 years.
Do the math and the heart of a mouse beats 100 times faster than that of a tortoise. But a tortoise lives 100 times longer than a mouse. Humans, however, have about 60 bpm and have about 3 billion heartbeats per lifetime.
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When Your Heart Rate Spikes
Sometimes, your pulse might jump up for a little while. Most of the time, you heart will slow down naturally. If not, or if it happens regularly, these things can help get that number down.
Vagal maneuvers: These physical actions can reset your heart rate. For example, hold your nose and breathe out of your mouth. Itâs similar to when you want to pop your ears when youâre on an airplane. Or you can put your face in ice-cold water for several seconds or cough forcefully.
Medication: Your doctor may prescribe it to help treat an abnormal heart rate. Things like beta-blockers may help prevent future episodes.
Catheter ablation: Sometimes the cause of your racing pulse may be an extra electrical pathway in the heart. Your doctor would perform this procedure, which makes it so the extra circuit no longer sends signals. It doesnât require surgery. Usually, this is suggested only when medicines don’t work.
American Heart Association: âKnow your target heart rates of exercise, losing weight and health,â “Tachycardia: Fast Heart Rate,â “Ablation for Arrhythmias.”
CDC: âHealth Effects of Cigarette Smoking.â
Circulation: âFish Consumption is Associated with Lower Heart Rates.â
The Heart Foundation: âYour Heart Rate.â
âWhatâs a normal resting heart rate?â
How To Lower Your Heart Rate
Staying physically active by doing moderate to vigorous exercise regularly is one of the best ways to achieve a lower heart rate that leads to a healthy and long life.
Changes in your lifestyle that may lower your heart rate include:
- Reducing the intake of coffee and caffeine-containing products
- Avoiding binge drinking
- Intake of a healthy diet to keep weight under check
- Doing deep breathing to manage stress and anxiety
If your heart rate becomes too high suddenly, and you feel shortness of breath or chest pain, you need to consult your doctor immediately to get medications prescribed for you. This could be a sign of an impending heart attack or other life-threatening heart problems.
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