World Heart Rhythm Week 2022: Feel Your Heartbeat
World heart rhythm week is observed annually in the month of June as an initiative of the Arrhythmia Alliance to spread the word of arrhythmias to the public and healthcare professionals. The objective of world heart rhythm week is to heighten the awareness of arrhythmia. On the occasion of world heart rhythm week 2022, read this article to catch up on the working of the heart and the complications associated with its malfunctioning.
In India, it has been recorded that 1 in every 4 deaths occurs due to heart-related problems. The cases of arrhythmia are growing exponentially due to limited knowledge about the disease.
What Is Arrhythmia? Beware Of Your Heart Rhythm
Arrhythmia is a condition referred to as irregular or abnormal heart rhythm. The average healthy heartbeat ranges between 60—100 beats per minute. Arrhythmia can be either due to increased or decreased heartbeat. These abnormalities in a heartbeat can cause a life-threatening problem and can become fatal
Your heart rhythm is different from heartbeat!
Heart rhythm is a sequence of electric conduction which implies the heartbeat. While heart rate is the rate at which the heart beats.
Heart Rhythm = Heart Contraction + Heart Relaxation
Did you know? Heartbeats for about 3 billion times in our lifetime.
Arrhythmias are grouped broadly sectioned based on the heart rate.
Tachycardia (Fast Heartbeat)
It is a condition where the individual experiences an increased heart rate above 100 beats per minute. The various types of tachycardia are as listed below:
- Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia that occurs due to poor coordination in the contraction of the upper chambers of the heart and the heart beats in a disorganized way.
- Atrial flutter: The heart beats in a rapid and organized manner due to the unusual beating of the heart's upper chambers.
- Supraventricular tachycardia happens when a person experiences a fast heartbeat even during resting.
- Ventricular fibrillation: This type of arrhythmia is not that common, but if it happens, it causes a rapid increase in heartbeats along with a dramatic drop in blood pressure. This is called a deadly arrhythmia because it can lead to loss of consciousness, and the person may collapse immediately.
- Ventricular tachycardia occurs as a consequence of heart attack and the abnormality of heart rhythms begins from the heart's lower chambers.
Bradycardia (Slow Heartbeat)
Bradycardia is called a slow heartbeat where the individual experiences a decreased heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute. The following are the types of bradycardia:
- Sick Sinus Syndrome: This happens when there is an impairment in the generation of cardiac signals for the functioning of the heart.
- Atrioventricular block: The heart beats at deficient speed and can lead to sudden collapse due to the blockage of signals from the heart to contraction
Arrhythmia - A Quiet Heart Disorder
There are no early warning indications to detect arrhythmias. The only possible way is to visit the clinic frequently and know our numbers. Yet a person may present with the following signs and symptoms. Initially, the person may feel fast or slow heartbeats or even skip a heartbeat.
- Breathing difficulty
- Pain over the chest region
- Dizziness followed by fainting
- Profuse sweating
- Visual disturbances
Who Is At Risk Of Arrhythmias? Factors That Are Accountable For Causing Arrhythmias
Arrhythmia can happen if you have the following conditions:
- History of heart attack or Coronary artery disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Stress and anxiety
- Excess consumption of alcohol or caffeine
- Drug addicts
- Electrolyte imbalance
- History of covid-19
Understand The Working Of The Heart To Know The Cause Of Arrhythmias
Arrhythmia develops as a result of alteration in the conduction of the heart. Due to this change in the heart's beating, the functioning of the heart declines i.e, it impacts the regular pumping of the heart. The heart's electrical conduction is directly proportionate to the heart's pumping function. Any abnormality in generating the impulses by the natural pacemaker can affect the entire cardiac cycle and cause impairment to the other organs.
How Can Arrhythmia Be Captured?
The heart rhythm can be diagnosed by performing the following investigations:
- ECG(Electrocardiogram): this test is conducted to measure the heart's electrical activity. During an ECG, the electrode wires are placed on your chest, arms and legs and connected to the ECG machine. The machine generates a graph and the cardiologist will detect the abnormalities by tracing the waves printed on the ECG paper.
- Holter Monitor: if the arrhythmia is suspected, your cardiologist may order a Holter monitor test which is nothing but a portable battery-operated ECG it is a wearable device and it monitors the performance of your heart entirely throughout the day
Arrhythmia Requires Prompt Treatment
If an arrhythmia is left untreated for a long time, it can lead to many cardiac complications that include the formation of blood clots, heart failure, and sudden cardiac arrest.
Stroke is a major complication of arrhythmia because of the high risk of clot formations in the blood vessels.
Depending on the type of arrhythmia and your heart rate, the cardiologist may prescribe you the following medications:
- Antiarrhythmic medications: These medications work by regulating the heart's electrical activity and preventing the complication of blood clots.
- Pacemaker: Your cardiologist may advise on a permanent pacemaker surgery to treat arrhythmias, as it replaces the functions of the natural pacemaker of the heart Pacemaker is primarily used in bradycardia to initiate the heartbeat where the heart rate is slow
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: this is a similar device to a pacemaker to correct abnormal heart rhythms. ICD is a battery-operated device that will be placed under the collarbone. It can be used to treat both fast and slow heartbeats as ICD has the potential to generate signals to the heart, which acts by triggering the heartbeat in case of slow heart rhythm and controls the chaotic heartbeat.
Heart Your Living To Prevent The Risk Of Arrhythmias:
Restart your heart rhythm on this world heart rhythm week 2022 by modifying your lifestyle.Eat a well-balanced heart-healthy diet that consists of good fats, leafy greens, nuts and berries. Do adequate exercise at least 15- 20 minutes daily and practice meditation or breathing techniques to keep your stress levels at bay. Periodically monitor your blood pressure and pulse. If you already have had an episode of arrhythmias, strictly adhere to the treatment plan and consume it as directed by the cardiologist.