10 Heart-stopping Symptoms of Irregular Heartbeat – Search Site Content

10 Heart-stopping Symptoms of Irregular Heartbeat

About 5% of the United States population has an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. Also called dysrhythmia, arrhythmia can mean the heart beats too slowly (bradycardia), too quickly (tachycardia), or simply irregularly, as is the case with atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) where two upper chambers of the heart (atria) quiver. Left untreated, an irregular heartbeat increases the risk of serious, potentially life-threatening complications, such as blood clots and stroke.

Considering these risks, it pays to know what the signs of this condition are...

1. Chest Pain

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It should come as no surprise that a heart problem can create chest discomfort or even pain. It’s important to pay close attention to this symptom, as chest pain can indicate a more serious case of irregular heartbeat.

Of course, sometimes it isn’t always pain that patients feel in their chest...

2. Palpitations

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Some people with an arrhythmia describe the occasional sensation of “fluttering” in the chest, which is due to the abnormal beating of the heart. Otherwise known as palpitations, this symptom can be experienced as a skipped heartbeat or rapid, pounding heart rate.

Sometimes other people experience the opposite...

3. Slow Heart Rate

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Slow heart rate, or bradycardia, can also occur with an irregular heartbeat. With bradycardia, the heart beats less than the standard 60 to 100 beats per minute in adults. Slow heart beat can cause serious complications at times, especially if it means that the heart isn’t pumping enough oxygen to the rest of the body.

This lack of oxygen can lead to...

4. Shortness of Breath

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When the body isn’t getting enough oxygen, it results in a condition called hypoxia. This term simply means the blood has a low amount of oxygen. Arrhythmia-induced hypoxia can produce several symptoms, including shortness of breath and...

5. Lightheadedness

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Many people know the feeling of becoming lightheaded when they can’t catch their breath. Often, lightheadedness isn’t a cause for concern, as it may just result from something as simple as a hard workout. Other times, though, it could indicate an underlying health condition, such as an irregular heartbeat.

Shortness of breath and lightheadedness often result in the following symptom...

6. Dizziness

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Another unpleasant symptom of arrhythmia is dizziness, which can occur from lack of oxygen and the resulting lightheadedness and shortness of breath. If these symptoms become severe enough, the following may occur too...

7. Fainting

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Fainting or feeling that one could faint are more signs that point to an irregular heartbeat. This symptom is worrisome since fainting can mean a dangerous fall or passing out behind the wheel of a car.

Other worrying symptoms of irregular heartbeat are...

8. Anxiety

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A lack of oxygen, shortness of breath, and rapid breathing--all of which can occur with an arrhythmia--can all contribute to anxiety. Anxiety alone is bad enough, but it can also result in panic and impaired judgment.

The next symptom is sometimes hard to see...

9. Blurred Vision

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Once again, arrhythmia-induced hypoxia is to blame for this symptom. If the eye doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can’t function properly. This dysfunction can lead to worrying symptoms like blurry vision.

Sometimes an irregular heartbeat can cause no symptoms at all...

10. No Symptoms

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One of the most common signs of an arrhythmia is no symptoms at all. Since irregular heartbeat can be a serious condition, it therefore pays to know just what factors put someone at risk of an irregular heartbeat.


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