Remember the saying ‘my heart skipped a beat’. We usually use it to denote love at first sight. This all sounds romantic but sorry to burst your bubble, it’s not. Heart skipping a beat means you have an irregular heartbeat and in medical terms it is called arrhythmia.

 

Arrhythmias are extremely common, especially among the older folk. Mostly the problem goes unnoticed but some arrhythmias are extremely dangerous and require medical intervention and management. See your doctor if you have felt any of these symptoms to rule out other problems, such as heart disease.

 

Here’s an explainer to make you wiser on this condition

 

What is Irregular heartbeat?

 

Arrhythmia is the abnormal beating of the heart and is caused by problems with your heart's electrical system. Our heart operates on electrical impulses. Sometimes impulses happen too fast, too slow, or erratically - causing the heart to beat too fast, too slowly, or erratically. There are two basic kinds of arrhythmias. Bradycardia is when the heart rate is too slow - less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia is when the heart rate is too fast - more than 100 beats per minute.

 

What are the symptoms?

If you are experiencing these on a daily or regular basis, it is time you sought help

#You feel tired and fatigued most of the time

#You suffer from spells of dizziness

#Getting up from a particular place or motion often makes you lightheaded

#Fainting or feeling faint often

#You feel your heartbeat quicken almost like a pounding within your chest and it’s not out of fear

#If you feel short of breath

#You often get chest pains

#You may have collapsed one or more times or have had a minor cardiac arrest

 

How to find out your heart rate?

 

By monitoring your pulse. Learn how to do it or get someone to help you do it. Put the second and third fingers of one hand on the inside of the wrist of the other hand, just below the thumb or on the side of your neck, just below the corner of your jaw.

 

 

Feel for the pulse. Count the number of beats in one full minute.

 

NO REASON TO PANIC IF...

You find your child or yourself having extra heartbeats. In healthy children, an extra heartbeat is not a cause for concern. According to Webmd smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee, or taking diet pills or cough and cold medicines may cause irregularity in your heartbeat. When you are undergoing stress or are in pain, the heartbeat pattern may change. So is it when you have fever or come from a hard round of exercising.  But there is reason to get a check-up if the symptoms listed above occur regularly.

 

TREATMENT

 

If you have an arrhythmia, treatment may or may not be necessary.In case of bradycardia which have causes that can't be corrected the doctors treat them with a pacemaker because there aren't any medications that can reliably speed up your heart. Another instrument that helps is the Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). It is recommended if you're at high risk of developing a dangerously fast or irregular heartbeat in the lower half of your heart (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation). In some cases, surgery may be required. There are two options one is the Maze Procedure while the other is a Coronary bypass surgery.