Cardiac arrhythmia is a disorder of the sequence, frequency and rhythm of the heartbeat. In a calm state, in most cases a person can feel only weak heartbeats, without feeling his rhythm. Explicit sensations of interruptions in the work of the heart (chaotic or rapid contraction, sudden fading) indicate the presence of a person in arrhythmia of the heart
Arrhythmia of the heart - causes
If a person has no heart disease, the arrhythmias are most often manifested in the form of occasional single episodes, which should not be given too much importance. However, these cases still need to be discussed with the doctor.
The following causes of arrhythmia are proven: hypertension, conduction disorders of heart, heart failure, heart valve defects, ischemic heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. Despite all the above reasons, it must be remembered that arrhythmia does not always indicate a present heart condition. There are many reasons for arrhythmia and in some cases it is not possible to establish them.
In addition to heart disease, there are the following aggravated arrhythmia factors: emotional or physical stress, fever and infections, thyroid disorders and anemia, taking certain medications and various stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, etc.). Some types of arrhythmias can be inherited.
Many disorders of the heart rhythm (atrial extrasystole, sinus tachycardia) can not be felt by the patient, and in most cases testify to the presence of a certain non-cardiac pathology in the person (increased function of the thyroid gland, etc.) without leading to any consequences. Especially dangerous for life are ventricular tachycardias, which in 85% of cases are the direct cause of sudden cardiac death. A little less dangerous are bradycardia (in 15% of cases are the cause of sudden cardiac death), which are accompanied by brief sudden loss of consciousness
Types of arrhythmia
Depending on the specificity of cardiac arrhythmias, the following varieties of arrhythmia are distinguished:
Tachycardia - an increase (more than 90 beats per minute) of heart rate. Despite the fact that tachycardia has many varieties, it is customary to take into account the main of them:
- Sinus (physiological) tachycardia - manifested by a paroxysmal increase in heart rate to 130-210 beats per minute. This kind of tachycardia can appear in quite healthy people due to emotional or physical exertion, after stopping which the palpitations come back to normal. Also, sinus tachycardia can be caused by heart diseases such as heart failure, heart disease, etc.
- Paroxysmal (pathological) tachycardia - manifested by a sharp increase in heart rate to 130-210 beats per minute. The attack also ends abruptly, as it begins. The duration of an attack can last from a few minutes to several days. Pathological tachycardia most often occurs in people with diseases of the central nervous system and the heart
Bradycardia - slowing the heart rate of an adult person to less than sixty beats per minute. Due to the slow heart rate, the level of blood supply to the internal organs decreases, which negatively affects the adequate work of the whole organism. The main signs of bradycardia include: increased fatigue, weakness, dizziness, pain in the heart, sometimes there may be a complete loss of consciousness. Bradycardia occurs with endocrine diseases, neuroses, pathology of the digestive system, elevated levels of potassium in the blood, etc.
Extrasystole is a premature contraction of both the heart itself and its individual parts. The main symptoms of this disturbance of cardiac activity include weakness, dizziness and the so-called "fading" of the heart. Extrasystolia is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and can occur not only because of the presence of cardiovascular diseases, but also in the malfunctioning of other internal organs (disorders in the genitourinary system, gastrointestinal tract, etc.). To frequent causes of the occurrence of extrasystoles include stress situations, as well as the effects of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
Atrial fibrillation is a chaotic contraction of the atria, leading to disruption of the whole blood circulation. Atrial fibrillation manifests sensations of uneven heartbeats, rapid fatigue, dyspnea, etc. The reasons for the development of atrial fibrillation include hypertension, heart failure, a decreased level of potassium in the blood, malfunctioning of the thyroid gland, congenital heart defects
Arrhythmia - symptoms
All manifestations in this pathology are highly subjective and individual, tk. To feel the heartbeat is capable of most people without even having any diseases of the cardiovascular system. Most often this is of an incoming character and is felt lying on the side of the heart. Quite often people who feel the work of their own heart are frightened of it, but this does not always indicate the presence of severe cardiac pathology. Patients suffering from heart disease experience such conditions repeatedly. In the initial stages, some types of arrhythmias may occur with mild symptoms or subclinically, and in contrast, some arrhythmias have a very vivid clinical picture, which however does not in most cases carry any serious consequences. Violations of the heart rhythm can lead to cardiac insufficiency, which is accompanied by dizziness and fainting. If such manifestations are present, an emergency diagnosis and immediate treatment are indicated.
The most common method for diagnosing arrhythmia is a cardiogram - a graphic representation of electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract. Based on the cardiogram, the doctor sets the diagnosis and prescribes the necessary treatment
Arrhythmia - treatment
Methods of treatment of heart rhythm disturbances can vary depending on the presence or absence of symptoms, the severity (which is the primary cause of arrhythmia) of heart disease, the frequency of arrhythmia attacks. Depending on the type of arrhythmia, the treatment can vary from medication to more complicated surgical (implantation of cardiac cardioverter - defibrillator). In some cases, specialized or simple pacemakers are used to eliminate arrhythmia
Treatment of tachycardia
Tachycardia often does not require any treatment at all. The patient is recommended to abandon bad habits (smoking, alcohol, drinking coffee, strong tea, chocolate and Coca-Cola) and maximum (if possible) rest. From the publicly available medications recommend corvalol and tincture of valerian. In some cases, the doctor may consider it necessary to prescribe a specific drug treatment, in which the following drugs are most often prescribed: digoxin, propranolol, rhythmelin, verapamil, lidocaine
Treatment of bradycardia
In the case of a mild degree of disease, treatment is often not required. In some cases, bradycardia develops against the background of pathological changes in the work of the myocardium (cardiac muscle), with adequate timely treatment of which disappears and the symptomatology of bradycardia. In the event that the frequency of cardiac contractions becomes less than fifty beats per minute, a serious threat to human life appears and urgent medical treatment is required. Drugs prescribed for the treatment of bradycardia: atenolol, alupent, atropine. It is strictly forbidden to take these medications on their own, as they themselves can cause arrhythmia.
In severe cases of bradycardia, an implantation of the pacemaker is performed. The function of this device is to increase the heart rate to the normal value, which is achieved by the electronic pulses sent by the pacemaker. Immediately the device itself is implanted under the large pectoral muscle
Treatment of extrasystole
The treatment of each case can be different. In cases of CNS diseases, the patient is advised to consult a psychotherapist and take sedatives. If the disease is caused by diseases of other internal organs, attention is paid to them. Patients suffering from extrasystole are recommended not to use strong tea and coffee, alcohol abuse and smoking. For the treatment of extrasystole, the following drugs are used: sotalol, amiodarone, beta-adrenoblockers (pindolol, propranolol, metoprolol, oxprenolol, talinolol, atenalol)
Treatment of atrial fibrillation
In this disease, various combinations of antiarrhythmic drugs (sotalol, etatsizin, propafenone, allapinin, quinidine, disopyramide, amiodarone) are used to restore the normal heart rhythm. In each case, the drugs are carefully selected by the attending physician.
In case of absence of proper results with medical treatment, the use of electrical cardioversion is shown. The purpose of this procedure is to restore the normal rhythm of heartbeats with the help of special electrical discharges delivered directly to the very heart. Cardioversion can be both internal and external. To avoid uncomfortable sensations, this procedure is performed under general anesthesia.