What Is an Arrhythmia?

by Nash Brennman


Is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.


  • A fluttering in your chest
  • A racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • A slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope) or near fainting


Normally, your heart works as a pump that brings blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. but when your heart starts to beat abnormally then something is wrong.


Taking steps to prevent coronary artery disease may reduce your chance of developing an arrhythmia.


  • Electrical "shock" therapy (defibrillation or cardioversion)
  • Implanting a short-term heart pacemaker
  • Medications given through a vein (intravenous) or by mouth


To diagnose your condition, your doctor may review your symptoms and your medical and family history, and conduct a physical examination. Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose your condition and determine the type and severity of your arrhythmia and the most appropriate treatment.
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