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Heart Arrhythmia Center

Arrythmia Symptoms

Common symptoms of arrythmia
Many arrhythmias result in no demonstrable or palpable signs or symptoms. When signs or symptoms are present, the most common ones are:

  • a slow heartbeat
  • an irregular heartbeat
  • feeling pauses between heartbeats
  • palpitations (feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or fast)

Later symptoms of arrythmia
When arrhythmias last long enough to affect how well the heart works, more serious symptoms may develop. More serious signs and symptoms of arrhythmia include:

  • anxiety
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • fainting or nearly fainting
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • lightheadedness
  • punding heartbeat
  • rapid heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • sudden cardiac arrest (in extreme cases)
  • sweating
  • weakness

When to seek help
Consult your doctor if you believe you have an irregular heart rhythm or palpitations. If you notice the above symptoms or other signs of cardiac arrhythmia, seek medical care to determine the presence of possible atrial fibrillation or other heart disorders. Furthermore, if the described arrhythmic symptoms last more than a minute and worsen or intensify, seek medical treatment immediately. Seek immediate help for arrhythmic heart symptoms that:

  1. intensify or worse AND
  2. last more than a minute

Interestingly, sometimes a simple cough or a sneeze may 'reboot' or convert the arrhythmia into a normal heart beat pattern. But how do doctors diagnose heart arrhythmias? What are the components of a proper diagnosis, when should you request tests and how can you prepare for recommended follow up? To learn more about how your doctor may make the diagnosis, read the next section on diagnosing cardiac arrhythmias.

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