Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. It doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong with your heart. You might not even know you have arrhythmia until you see a doctor for something else. Even though not everyone has symptoms of arrhythmia, when they do, they might not recognize them. Here’s what you should watch for and when you should call the doctor.
Symptoms of Arrhythmia You Shouldn’t Ignore
Some symptoms like chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations, or fainting are a clear sign you need to get medical attention. But some of the symptoms of arrhythmia are easily confused with something else, like excitement or stress. Since it can indicate something problematic, you should watch out for the following signs:
- Fluttering. As strange as it sounds, your heart might beat rapidly but feel ‘too light,’ like there’s a butterfly in your chest. Sometimes it’s described as shaking or quivering.
- Light-headedness. Arrhythmia can cause a change in blood flow. If you start experiencing dizziness, it could be a symptom.
- Sweating. Heavy sweating when you’re not doing anything or continuing to sweat for a long time after activity is often a sign of heart trouble.
- Weakness or fatigue. Easily overlooked, feeling “run-down or “overtired” can be a symptom, especially if it happens frequently or lasts for more than a few days.
- Anxiety. There are numerous causes for anxiety, but it is a recognized symptom of arrhythmia.
When to Call the Doctor
If you experience fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in your jaw or arms, you should call for an ambulance immediately.
If you experience the other symptoms, especially if you experience them frequently, or if you experience multiple symptoms at once, you should see a doctor right away. It helps if you write down when it happens, how long it lasts, and what you were doing. Your doctor will be better able to choose the best course of action.
What to Expect When You See the Doctor
Your doctor will listen to your heart, take your pulse, and may order blood tests to check for infections and other illnesses. You might have an echocardiogram, which is like an ultrasound for your heart. In many cases, a stress test may is recommended requiring you to walk or run on a treadmill while your heart is monitored.
Depending on your symptoms, you may be asked to wear a Holter monitor for a few days, and it will record everything your heart does. If the doctor needs to monitor your heart for longer, they’ll use specialized devices that won’t get in your way.
The most important thing is getting checked out. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of arrhythmia, don’t wait. Book your appointment at Epic Heart And Vascular Center today by going to our website or giving us a call at (832) 952-1951.