The same condition is dysrhythmia or arrhythmia. A heartbeat with an abnormal rhythm or speed.
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Arrhythmia is a term that refers to a lack of or absence of something. This is a lack of normal rhythm.
“Dys” can also be used to indicate that something is not working properly or is difficult. This is illustrated by the word “dysfunction”. Dysrhythmia can refer to an abnormal rhythm.
Both terms refer to a heart rhythm or beat that is different from the norm. Arrhythmia is the more common term today.
What is an abnormal heart rate?
Your resting heart rate refers to the amount of heart beats per minute that occur when you are at rest or relaxed. The American Heart Association states that most people have a resting rate of 60 to 100 beats per hour.
- A resting heart rate may be slower or faster than normal. This is referred to as two terms:
- Tachycardia refers to a heart rate of over 100 beats per hour.
- Bradycardia refers to a heart rate of less than 60 beats per hour.
A slow heartbeat does not necessarily indicate a medical condition. People who do a lot of physical activity (e.g. athletes) often have a slow resting heart rate.
It’s not about speed and slow with heartbeats. It is possible for the beats to be irregular in their rhythm or sequence. You may feel your heart skip a beat, feel it is irregular or premature.
What causes arrhythmias
The sinoatrial (SA node) generates electrical signals. Your heart responds to these signals. The SA node can be thought of as your heart’s pacemaker. It is located in the upper right corner of your heart.
This electrical impulse travels through the upper chambers (atria), and then on to the atrioventricular node (AV). This electrical impulse can then travel via special fibers from the AV to the lower chambers (ventricles) of your heart.
An arrhythmia is a disruption in the electrical signaling sequence caused by changes in your heart tissue. Arrhythmia can be caused by:
- Damage to your heart from previous heart surgery, heart attack or other causes
- Thyroid disease, high blood pressure or sleep apnea are all possible underlying conditions.
Viral infections such as COVID-19
Certain medications, including blood pressure medication and over-the counter cold and allergy medicines, are not recommended.
- Alcoholism in excess
- High levels of stress
Substances like methamphetamines or cocaine
Different types of arrhythmia
Let’s dive deeper into the various types of irregular heart rhythms now that we know what causes an arrhythmia.
These arrhythmias occur in the upper chambers (atria) of your heart. Supraventricular arrhythmia can be of many types.
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The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation causes the atria to contract rapidly and at irregular times. They are out of sync (ventricles) with the lower chambers.