Irregular Heartbeat Speed or Rhythm
An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of your heartbeat.
Abnormal Electrical Activity
The cause is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. In an arrhythmia, your heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.
Types of Arrhythmias
- A fast heartbeat is called tachycardia .
- A slow heartbeat is known as bradycardia .
- There are also a host of other conditions that reflect abnormal electrical activity and, thus, an irregular rhythm including:
Arrhythmias Are Common
Some Are Life-Threatening Emergencies
Some arrhythmias are life-threatening emergencies and can result in cardiac arrest and sudden death. When the heart doesn't beat properly, it can't pump blood efficiently. If your organs, including your brain, don't get enough blood, they can shut down or suffer serious damage.
Most Are Less Serious
Most arrhythmias, however, are less serious. For example, more than 2 million Americans are living with a type of arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation. Even a serious arrhythmia can often be treated with success. Most people with arrhythmias are able to live normal, healthy lives.