TREATMENT OF ARRHYTHMIA
To prevent heart arrhythmia, it’s important to live a heart-healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy lifestyle may include:
1. Healthy Lifestyle Changes
· Eat a heart-healthy diet
· Stay physically active and keep a healthy weight
· Reduce blood pressure
· Control cholesterol level
· Avoid tobacco smoke
· Avoid caffeine and alcohol
· Reduce stress, as intense stress and anger can cause heart rhythm problems
· Use medications with caution, as some cold and cough medications contain stimulants that may trigger a rapid heartbeat
Some medicines are used in combination with each other or together with a procedure or a pacemaker. If the dose is too high, medicines to treat arrhythmia can cause an irregular rhythm.
· Adenosine to slow a racing heart. Adenosine acts quickly to slow electrical signals. It can cause some chest pain, flushing, and shortness of breath, but any discomfort typically passes soon.
· Atropine to treat a slow heart rate. This medicine may cause difficulty swallowing.
· Amiodarone is used to treat irregular heartbeat or Ventricular Ectopics. It is used to maintain a regular, steady heartbeat.
· Beta-blockers to treat high blood pressure or a fast heart rate or to prevent repeat episodes of arrhythmia. Beta-blockers can cause digestive trouble, sleep problems, and sexual dysfunction and can make some conduction disorders worse.
· Blood thinners to reduce the risk of blood clots forming. This helps prevent stroke. With blood-thinning medicines, there is a risk of bleeding.
· Calcium channel blockers to slow a rapid heart rate or the speed at which signals travel. Typically, they are used to control arrhythmias of the upper chambers. In some cases, calcium channel blockers can trigger ventricular fibrillation. They can also cause digestive trouble, swollen feet, or low blood pressure.
· Digitalis, or digoxin to treat a fast heart rate. This medicine can cause nausea and may trigger arrhythmias.
· Potassium channel blockers to slow the heart rate. They work by lengthening the time it takes for heart cells to recover after firing so that they do not fire and squeeze as often. Potassium channel blockers can cause low blood pressure or other arrhythmia.
· Sodium channel blockers to block transmission of electrical signals, lengthen cell recovery periods and make cells less excitable. However, these drugs can increase the risks of sudden cardiac arrest in people who have heart disease.
· Electric shock or Cardioversion: It is a medical procedure by which an abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia) or other cardiac arrhythmia is converted to a normal rhythm using electricity or drugs.
· Cardiac ablation: It is a procedure that can correct heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). Cardiac ablation works by scarring or destroying tissue in your heart that triggers or sustains an abnormal heart rhythm. In some cases, cardiac ablation prevents abnormal electrical signals from entering your heart and, thus, stops the arrhythmia.
· Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs): Defibrillators are devices that restore a normal heartbeat by sending an electric pulse or shock to the heart. They are used to prevent or correct an arrhythmia, a heartbeat that is uneven or that is too slow or too fast. Defibrillators can also restore the heart’s beating if the heart suddenly stops. Different types of defibrillators work in different ways.
· Pacemaker: Electrical impulse from our heart muscle, the myocardium causes the heart to beat (contract). This electrical signal begins in the Sino Atrial (SA) (specialized are of muscle which has the inherent property to generate electrical impulse) node is known as a natural pacemaker, located at the top of the right atrium (chamber-1). SA node is called a pacemaker as it produces impulse & sets the pace for contraction of the heart. When this natural pacemaker of the body goes wrong, artificial pacemakers are implanted in many people and they take over the work of this natural pacemaker i.e. SA node in producing impulses.
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