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cardiac arrhythmias

Cardiac arrhythmias refer to abnormal heart rhythms, where the heart may beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly. These irregularities can originate in the atria (upper chambers) or the ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart. Arrhythmias can range from harmless to life-threatening and may be caused by various factors.

Causes:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): Reduced blood flow to the heart muscle.
  • Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction): Can cause scar tissue affecting the heart's electrical system.
  • High Blood Pressure: Increases the risk of arrhythmias.
  • Heart Valve Disorders: Abnormalities in heart valves can disrupt blood flow.
  • Heart Failure: Impaired heart function can lead to arrhythmias.
  • Aging: The risk of arrhythmias increases with age.
  • Congenital Heart Defects: Birth defects affecting the heart's structure.
  • Thyroid Disorders: Abnormal thyroid function can affect the heart's rhythm.
  • Excessive Alcohol or Caffeine Consumption: Excessive intake can trigger arrhythmias.
  • Certain Medications: Some medications may disrupt the heart's electrical activity.

Symptoms:

  • Palpitations: Feeling of irregular or forceful heartbeats.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Especially during episodes of arrhythmia.
  • Fainting (Syncope): Loss of consciousness may occur in severe cases.
  • Chest Pain: Chest discomfort or pain may be associated with some arrhythmias.
  • Shortness of Breath: Especially during exertion or activity.

If you experience symptoms of a cardiac arrhythmia, seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.