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Blog: When Does Arrhythmia Require Treatment?

When Does Arrhythmia Require Treatment?

As many as 5% of women and men have arrhythmia, a heart disorder that interferes with the way the heart normally beats. But while the symptoms of arrhythmia can feel alarming, the condition doesn’t always require treatment.

At Phoenix Heart, PLLC, our team uses the most advanced techniques to diagnose, evaluate, and monitor arrhythmias, providing treatment on a patient-by-patient basis. In this post, you’ll learn when arrhythmia treatment is recommended and what treatment options we offer for patients at our offices in Glendale, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Anthem, Avondale, Laveen Village, and Black Canyon City, Arizona.

Arrhythmia basics

Arrhythmias happen when the heart’s electrical signaling is interrupted in some way, resulting in an irregular heartbeat. There are several types of arrhythmias, including:

  • Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia
  • Bradycardia, a slower-than-normal heartbeat
  • Tachycardia, a rapid heartbeat
  • Ventricular fibrillation, a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia
  • “Extra beats,” also called premature ventricular contraction

Each of these types of arrhythmia occurs in a different way inside your heart. Still, they can cause similar symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced capacity for exercise or physical activity
  • Palpitations or racing heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting

Some people can have an arrhythmia with very subtle symptoms or no noticeable symptoms at all. 

Treating arrhythmias

Generally, arrhythmia treatment is recommended when you have significant symptoms that interfere with your daily life. For those who have more mild symptoms, we may recommend lifestyle changes, like adopting a healthy eating plan, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, or cutting back on caffeine. 

For more severe symptoms, available treatment options include: 

  • Medications to help normalize your heart’s activity 
  • Medications to stabilize your blood pressure
  • A minimally invasive procedure called cardioversion to “reset” your rhythm
  • Ablation to interrupt the abnormal electrical activity
  • A pacemaker to help maintain a regular rhythm

If you have specific risk factors, we often recommend treatment even when symptoms are mild or infrequent.

Of course, the only real way to know if your arrhythmia needs treatment is to have a cardiac evaluation by one of our providers. If you do need treatment, regular follow-up visits help ensure you continue to enjoy the best results.

Learn more about arrhythmia treatment

An irregular heartbeat can cause a lot of anxiety, but fortunately, certain treatment options can help. To learn how we can help you manage your arrhythmia, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Phoenix Heart today.

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