Protect the Rhythm of Your Heart
Although heart rhythm disorders are more common in the elderly, it is a heart condition that can occur at any age. This disease may have no vital risks, or lead to sudden death. Liv HOSPİTAL Cardiologist Prof. Dr. Enis Oguz explained what should be done to protect the rhythm of our heart.
What are the causes of cardiac arrhythmia?Electrical stimulation is required for heart muscle to contract. The right atrium of the heart has cells that regularly outputs electrical stimuli. This electrical stimulus must spread all over the heart. The heart has lines consisted of sequentially located cells that the electricity flows through, as in an electrical grid. And the cardiac muscle responds to this electrical stimulus. Any abnormality in these structures results in the disruption of heart rhythm.
Arrhythmia exhibits itself in the form acceleration (tachycardia), irregular beat (premature beat) or decelaration (bradycardia).
What are the symptoms?The most common symptom is the feeling of palpitation. Patients describe this feeling with statements like “My heart is like fluttering like a bird”, “As if my heart will dart out of my chest”, “My heart beats are visible from outside”, “I feel my heart beating in my mouth”. The palpitation usually starts suddenly and sometimes lasts for seconds, sometimes minutes and even hours, then stops. Other symptoms may include dizziness and fainting. Arrhythmia-related faints often indicate life-threatening types of arrhythmias.
Which age range is affected?Arrhythmia can be seen in any age group. Arrhythmias are more common in older ages and are associated with other heart diseases. Taking all age groups into account, 2% of the general population and 10% of the population over 80 years of age is known to have atrial fibrillation (atrium-related arrhythmia of the heart). These numbers show the importance of cardiac arrhythmias for public health.
What tests are used for arrhythmia?
The most important method used for the diagnosis of arrhythmias is ECG, the recording of the electrical activity of the heart. However, in order for ECG to have diagnostic value, electrical activity must be recorded at the moment of arrhythmia. For example, if a patient suffers from an arrhythmia episode and goes to the nearest health institute while the tachycardia is ongoing to receive ECG, the type of the arrhythmia can be determined. However, some arrhythmias are short; therefore they cannot be recorded. For such cases, there are portable recording devices with the size of a cell phone, so patients can carry it with them. The purpose is to allow the patient to record their arrhythmia at the time it occurs.