When Does Arrhythmia Require Treatment?

Jun 14, 2023
When Does Arrhythmia Require Treatment?

When Does Arrhythmia Require Treatment?

Every day your heart beats around 100,000 times. It does this so your body has a steady blood supply to function effectively. If someone were to put an ear to your chest, they’d typically hear a regular, strong heartbeat. 

But sometimes the rhythm of your heartbeat veers off track, causing a condition called arrhythmia. But when does this irregularity warrant attention and, more importantly, treatment? 

That’s where Dr. Shahnaz Begum comes in. At Heart Care in Frisco, Texas, the board-certified cardiovascular disease specialist and her team are committed to offering comprehensive care and improving your knowledge about heart conditions like arrhythmia.

Our goal is to help you keep your heart healthy and strong, so you can enjoy the rhythm of life without missing a beat.

In this article, we break down what an arrhythmia is and how to recognize when you might need treatment. 

What’s an arrhythmia?

Much like your favorite song, the heart's rhythm relies on the right beats at the right time. An arrhythmia disrupts this rhythm. It occurs when the heart beats too slow, too fast, or irregularly. It’s caused by the electrical signals that control the heartbeat not working correctly. 

Experiencing an occasional flutter or skip in your heart's rhythm, especially during periods of stress, while engaged in intense physical activity, or after one too many espressos, is common. These temporary oddities are often benign.

However, when these disruptions persist, something might be wrong.

When does an arrhythmia require treatment?

Arrhythmias occur in different forms and vary in severity. Many are harmless and may go unnoticed, causing little to no discomfort. Others, while causing noticeable symptoms, aren't necessarily dangerous.

However, certain arrhythmias can lead to significant complications and require immediate medical intervention.

The necessity for treatment primarily depends on the type of arrhythmia, the frequency and duration of episodes, associated symptoms, and underlying health conditions. 

Signs that your arrhythmia might require medical attention include: 

  • Recurrent heart palpitations 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Constant fatigue

Moreover, treatment becomes crucial if your arrhythmia is linked with severe conditions such as heart disease or if it elevates your risk of stroke or heart failure.

Treatment options for arrhythmia

The primary objectives of treating arrhythmia are restoring a regular heart rhythm, preventing complications, and addressing underlying conditions that may cause the arrhythmia. 

Treatment options range from medications and lifestyle modifications to specialized procedures or surgeries, depending on your unique condition and overall health status.

For instance, if you’re diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a common type of arrhythmia, we might prescribe medication to control your heart rate, prevent blood clots, or convert your heart to a normal rhythm. 

Alternatively, you may require a procedure, such as cardiac ablation, that uses energy, such as heat or extreme cold, to create small scars in your heart tissue to correct its rhythm. In more severe cases, you might need surgery to install a pacemaker or defibrillator.

Living with an arrhythmia

While a complex condition, arrhythmia is manageable with the right treatment plan and lifestyle changes. To promote heart health, maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, manage stress, and avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine. 

And regular follow-ups with Dr. Begum are essential to monitor your condition and adjust treatments as needed.

Arrhythmias can be unsettling but aren't always a cause for alarm. When they become frequent or cause troubling symptoms, schedule an appointment with Heart Care online or call us at 469-910-5558.