Overview

Bradycardia
Bradycardia

Bradycardia is lower than the normal heart rate. Adults’ hearts at rest generally are able to beat around 60 to 100 times per minute. If you suffer from bradycardia your heart beats less than 60 times per minute.

Bradycardia is a serious issue if your heart is extremely slow and the heart isn’t able to supply enough oxygen-rich blood to the body. If this occurs you might feel tired, dizzy weak, or exhausted. Bradycardia can cause no signs or unexplained complications.

A heartbeat that is slow isn’t always an issue. For instance, a heart rate that is between 40-60 beats per minute is fairly common sleep. It can also be observed in certain individuals, in particular, especially young adults who are healthy and well-trained athletes¹.

If bradycardia has become severe A pacemaker implanted may be necessary to help the heart to maintain a normal rate.

 

Symptoms

A heartbeat that is slower than normal (bradycardia) could stop the brain as well as other organs from receiving enough oxygen. It could result in these symptoms and signs:

When is the best time to seek medical attention?

A variety of things can cause symptoms and signs of bradycardia. It is crucial to receive an immediate, accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. Talk to your doctor when the child or you is suffering from signs of bradycardia.

If you experience a fainting spell, difficulty breathing, or chest pain that lasts longer than several minutes, contact 911 or call emergency medical services. Get emergency medical attention for anyone suffering from these symptoms.

Causes

Bradycardia is caused by:

To better understand the cause of bradycardia it might be beneficial to understand how the heart normally beats.

The typical heart is comprised of four chambers: two chambers in the upper (atria) as well as two chambers in the lower (ventricles). In the upper right chamber within the heart (right atrium) is a collection of cells referred to as”the sinus node. The sinus node acts as the heart’s pacemaker. It is the source of the signal that triggers every heartbeat.

Bradycardia happens when the signals slow down or get blocked.

Sinus node problems

 

The majority of cases of Bradycardia begin in the heart area known as”sinus node”. In some people, sinus node problems cause alternating slow and fast heart rates (bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome).

Heart block (atrioventricular block)

Bradycardia can also happen if the electrical signals from the heart aren’t moving in a proper manner between those chambers in the top (atria) towards the chambers below (ventricles). If this happens it’s known as heart block or Atrioventricular block.

Heart blocks are divided into three major groups.

Risk factors

Bradycardia can be linked to damaged heart tissue due to certain heart diseases. Anything that can increase the chance of developing heart issues increases the risk of developing bradycardia. Heart disease risk factors include:

Lifestyle changes that promote health or medical treatments can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Complications

The possible complications of bradycardia are:

Prevention

Bradycardia is often caused by certain medications, especially when they’re taken in large doses. It’s crucial to take all medicines as prescribed. While bradycardia isn’t usually prevented, doctors suggest strategies to lower the chance of developing heart disease. Follow these heart-healthy guidelines:

Check and treat any existing heart condition

If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease There are ways to reduce your chance of developing bradycardia, or another heart rhythm condition:

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose bradycardia, your doctor typically performs an exam of the body in addition to listening to your heart using the Stethoscope. They will ask you questions regarding your symptoms and medical background.

Your doctor might recommend tests to examine your heart rate to determine whether you suffer from an issue with your heart that could cause bradycardia. The blood tests can be performed to look for other issues that could cause slow heartbeats. These could include an illness an inactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an imbalance in electrolytes.

 

Tests

An electrocardiogram (ECG also known as an EKG) can be the most important test used to detect bradycardia. An ECG analyzes how much electrical energy is generated by the heart. The heart’s electrical activity is measured. The conductive patch (electrodes) can be placed over the chest, and occasionally the legs and arms. The electrodes are connected with wires to a computer which shows the results. It is possible to determine if the heart is beating too slowly or too fast, or not at all.

It is not possible to detect bradycardia until a slow heartbeat is observed in the course of the test. Your healthcare provider may suggest the use of a portable ECG device. Portable ECG devices include:

It is possible to combine other tests to determine the effects of bradycardia on you. The tests are:

A sleep test may be suggested if your medical professional suspects that breathing pauses that are repeated while you sleeping (obstructive sleep apnea) can cause bradycardia.

 

Treatment

The treatment for bradycardia is based upon the intensity of the symptoms and the reason for the heart rate slowing. If you’re not experiencing any symptoms, treatment may not be required.

Treatment for Bradycardia may involve lifestyle modifications, medication adjustments as well as an implanted gadget referred to as a pacemaker. If a health issue is underlying like sleep apnea or thyroid disease that is causing the faster than normal heartbeat treatment for that issue could correct the bradycardia.

Medications

A variety of medications, such as those that treat other heart diseases, can trigger bradycardia. Be sure to let your doctor be aware of any medicines you are taking, even ones purchased without a prescription.

If you’re taking a medication that causes bradycardia your physician may suggest a lower dose or a different drug.

Other surgical procedures, or surgery

If other treatment options aren’t feasible and bradycardia symptoms become severe and severe, a device known as the pacemaker is needed to regulate the heartbeat. Pacemakers are only used when it is they’re required. If the heartbeats slow, the pacemaker sends electronic signals that signal the heart, which increase the speed of the beat.

Implanting a pacemaker requires surgery. A wire or two is placed through a vein underneath or around the collarbone. They are directed to the heart with an X-ray guide. The wire’s one end is secured to the proper location in the heart while the other is connected to the device (pulse generator) placed under the skin, beneath the collarbone.

A leadless pacemaker² is less invasive and usually requires a less invasive procedure to insert the device.

 

 

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