Tachycardia: Fast Heart Rate

Overview:

Tachycardia refers to a heart rate that’s too fast. How that is defined can depend on your age and physical condition.

Generally speaking, for adults, a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute (BPM) is considered too fast.

Types of Tachycardias:

Atrial or Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT)

The Atrial or supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a fast heart rate that starts in the top chambers of the heart.

Some forms of this particular tachycardia are paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT) or paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).

With atrial or supraventricular tachycardia, electrical signals in the heart’s upper chambers fire abnormally.

This interferes with electrical impulses coming in the sinoatrial (SA) node, the heart’s natural pacemaker.

The disruption leads to a faster than normal heartbeat.

This rapid heartbeat prevents the heart chambers from filling completely between contractions, which compromises blood flow to the rest of the body.

A profile for atrial or SVT

Generally speaking, those most likely to have atrial or supraventricular tachycardia are:

  • Kids (SVT is the most common type of arrhythmia in kids)
  • Girls, to a greater degree than men
  • Anxious young people
  • People that are physically fatigued
  • Individuals who drink large amounts of coffee (or carbonated chemicals )
  • People who consume alcohol heavily
  • People who smoke heavily

Atrial or SVT is less commonly associated with a heart attack or serious mitral valve disorder.

Complications and symptoms:

Some people with atrial or supraventricular tachycardia might have no discernible symptoms.

Others may encounter:

  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Fluttering from the torso
  • Bounding pulse
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Infection

In extreme instances, those struggling with atrial or SVT may also experience:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Cardiac arrest

Atrial or SVT Treatments:

When you’ve got atrial or SVT, it is likely you won’t need treatment.

But if the episodes are prolonged, or recur often, your Physician may recommend therapy, such as:

  • Carotid sinus massage: A healthcare professional can use gentle pressure on the throat, in which the carotid artery splits into two branches.
  • Pressing gently on the eyeballs with eyes closed. Caution: This procedure ought to be supervised closely by a health care physician.
  • Valsalva maneuver: This contains keeping your nostrils closed while blowing air through your nose.
  • Using the dive reflex: The dive reflex is your body’s response to sudden immersion in water, particularly cold water.
  • Sedation
  • Cutting down on coffee or carbonated substances
  • Cutting down on alcohol
  • Quitting tobacco use

In patients with Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome, drugs or ablation may be needed to restrain paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT).

Sinus Tachycardia:

Sinus tachycardia is a normal increase in the heartbeat. In this state, the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinoatrial (SA) node, sends out electrical signals faster than normal.

The heart rate is faster than ordinary, but the heartbeats properly.

Sinus tachycardia Causes:

A rapid heartbeat maybe your body’s response to common conditions for example:

  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Fright
  • Severe emotional distress
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Fever
  • Some medicinal and street drugs

Other, less frequent causes may include:

  • Anemia
  • Increased thyroid action
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Muscle Damage
  • Bleeding

Approach to treatment:

Your doctor should consider and treat the cause of your sinus tachycardia, instead of simply treating the problem.

Simply slowing the heart rate could cause more harm if your rapid heartbeat is a symptom of a serious or long-term issue.

Ventricular Tachycardia:

Ventricular tachycardia is a fast heart rate that starts from the heart’s lower chambers (ventricles).

This type of arrhythmia could be well-tolerated or life-threatening, requiring immediate diagnosis and therapy.

The seriousness is based largely on whether another cardiac dysfunction is present and on the degree of ventricular tachycardia.

Explaining the problem:

In cases of ventricular tachycardia, electrical signals in the heart’s lower chambers fire. This interferes with electrical impulses coming in the sinoatrial (SA) node, the heart’s natural pacemaker.

The disruption leads to a faster than normal heartbeat. This rapid heartbeat prevents the heart chambers from filling completely between contractions, which compromises blood flow to the rest of the body.

Causes of ventricular tachycardia:

Ventricular tachycardia is most often related to disorders that interfere with the heart’s electrical conduction system.

These disorders can include:

  • Lack of coronary artery blood flow, depriving oxygen into heart tissue
  • Cardiomyopathy distorting the heart’s construction
  • Medication side effects
  • Illicit drugs such as cocaine
  • Sarcoidosis (an inflammatory disease affecting skin or body tissues)

Range of symptoms:

Symptoms for ventricular tachycardia vary.

Common symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Falling unconscious
  • Cardiac arrest, in extreme instances

Treatment options:

The cause of your ventricular tachycardia will inform your treatment options.

Possible approaches include:

  • Medication
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Surgery
  • Immediate electrical defibrillation, in extreme instances

For a lot of reasons, it is ideal to call 911 in order for an experienced team can start treatment and arrange rapid transfer into the emergency area.

Ask your friends and loved ones for support.

If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…

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