why the heart beats faster than usual
A of more than 100 beats per minute (BPM) in adults is called tachycardia. What's too fast for you may depend on your age and physical condition. Atrial or Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) Atrial or Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a fast heart rate that starts in the upper chambers of the heart. Some forms are called paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT) or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). How it happens Electrical signals in the heart's upper chambers fire abnormally, which interferes with electrical signals coming from the sinoatrial (SA) node --- the heart's natural pacemaker. A series of early beats in the atria speeds up the heart rate. The rapid heartbeat does not allow enough time for the heart to fill before it contracts so blood flow to the rest of the body is compromised. Who is likely to have Atrial or SVT? More common in women, but may occur in either sex
People who drink large amounts of coffee (or caffeinated substances). Serious Symptoms and Complications of Atrial or SVT Angina (chest pain), pressure or tightness In extreme cases, atrial or SVT may cause: Treatment for Atrial or SVT Many people don't need medical therapy. Treatment is considered if episodes are prolonged or occur often. Your doctor may recommend or try: Carotid sinus massage: gentle pressure on the neck, where the carotid artery splits into two branches. Must be performed by a healthcare professional to minimize risk of stroke, heart or lung injury from blood clots. Pressing gently on the eyeballs with eyes closed.
But this maneuver should be guided by your doctor. Valsalva maneuver: holding your nostrils closed while blowing air through your nose. Dive reflex: the body's response to sudden immersion in water, especially cold water. Sedation. Cutting down on coffee or other caffeinated substances. Cutting down on alcohol. Quitting tobacco use. Getting more rest. In patients with Wolfe-Parkinson-White syndrome, medications or ablation may be needed to control PSVT. Sinus tachycardia Ventricular tachycardia Ventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rate that starts in the heart's lower chambers (ventricles). It often occurs in life-threatening situations that dictate rapid diagnosis and treatment. How it happens Electrical signals in the ventricles fire abnormally, which interferes with electrical signals coming from the sinoatrial (SA) node --- the heart's natural pacemaker. The rapid heartbeat does not allow enough time for the heart to fill before it contracts so blood flow to the rest of the body is compromised Causes of Ventricular Tachycardia Usually associated with disorders of the heart which interfere with the normal conduction system of the heart. These disorders may include: Symptoms of Ventricular Tachycardia Consequences of Ventricular Tachycardia This type of arrhythmia may be either well-tolerated or may be life-threatening. The seriousness depends largely on whether other cardiac dysfunction is present, and on the rate of VT. Treatment of Ventricular Tachycardia The type and length of treatment depends on what's causing the problem.
If required, treatment may include: Causes of tachycardia Under certain conditions, the automatic firing rate of secondary pacemaker tissue may become too fast. If such an abnormal focus fires faster than the sinus node, it may take over control of the heart rhythm and cause tachycardia. In another type of abnormal conduction, impulses get caught in a merry-go-round-like sequence. This process, called reentry, is a common cause of tachycardia. Symptoms of tachycardia Rhythm may be fast and regular or fast and irregular. Treatments for tachycardia Sudden ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation are life-threatening. With rapid detection they can be converted into a normal rhythm with electrical shock from a defibrillator. Rapid heart beating can be controlled over time with medications and by identifying or destroying the focus of rhythm disturbances. One effective way of correcting these life-threatening rhythms is by using an electronic device called an This content was last reviewed September 2016. Ideally, I'd want you to check your pulse at the time you feel your heart rate is high. You can check your pulse at the wrist or on the neck. At the wrist, lightly press the index and middle fingers of one hand on the opposite wrist, below the fat pad of the thumb. At the neck, lightly feel for your carotid pulse next to your windpipe. Count the number of beats in 15 seconds, and multiply by four. That's your heart rate.
Sometimes, it can feel like your heart is racing when actually it is in the normal range, which is less than 100 beats per minute. Doctors refer to a heart rate of 100 or higher as tachycardia. As long as you feel perfectly fine, tachycardia rarely has a serious cause. But if you have other symptoms with tachycardia, you should see your doctor. Your doctor would first determine if the heartbeat is regular (steady, like clockwork) or irregular (jumping around or skipping beats). 1. Fever 2. Dehydration 3. An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) 4. A heart rhythm abnormality, such as atrial tachycardia, atrial flutter and ventricular tachycardia. However, these would almost always cause additional symptoms, not just a fast heart rate. The most common cause of a very irregular, fast heartbeat is atrial fibrillation. I suggest that you call your doctor to discuss your symptoms. If he or she has any concerns, the next step would be a routine EKG. Additional testing might include wearing a heart monitor, called a Holter or event monitor. This device records your heart rate and rhythm for 24 hours or longer. (Howard LeWine, M. D. , is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass. , and Chief Medical Editor of Internet Publishing at Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School. ) (For additional consumer health information, please visit. ) (c) 2014 PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
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