What is Arrhythmia (Dysrhythmia)?
Your heart produces two key metrics: rate and rhythm. Your heart is how often your heart beats within a given time period. Normally, your heart beats with a regular rhythm. Arrhythmia, also called Dysrhythmia, refers to the presence of an irregular heart rhythm. In some cases, you can have a normal heart rate, but an abnormal heart rhythm – in other words, your heart beats a normal number of times per minute, but does so in an irregular or chaotic manner.
Arrhythmia can be related to heart disease, damage from a heart attack, a physical change in the heart muscle or an imbalance of blood electrolytes. You can also experience arrhythmia during the recovery process from a heart surgery.
Some people with arrhythmia have no symptoms. Others may experience some of the following:
- Pain in the chest
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Shortness of breath
- Very fast or very slow heart rate
- Fluttering feeling in the chest
Because arrhythmias vary widely in symptoms, severity and treatment options, patients should always work closely with a cardiologist to diagnose and manage irregular heart rhythms.