There’s no denying that the idea of having heart problems is terrifying. What happens if your life pump stops? You die. That’s why hundreds of thousands of people in the US alone suffer from Cardiophobia, the fear of having a heart attack characterized by chest pains that are unrelated to actual cardiac arrest. Panic attacks are also regularly mistaken for heart attacks as the symptoms can be similar, causing you to freak out more. So unsurprisingly, sensing irregularities in your heartbeat may totally spin you out, too, and that’s completely normal.
Heart arrhythmia is experienced by around 4 million Americans and 2 million people in the UK every year, characterized by heart palpitations such as a rapid heart rate, a lapse in rhythm, a skipped beat or random fluttering are symptoms. In many cases the symptoms are harmless, but in others, the symptoms can be quite troubling and leave people short of breath or cause them to faint and sometimes result in an unexpected loss of heart function which could lead to death if not treated.
This is why it is important to get checked out if you notice heart palpitations so that doctors can determine whether you need treatment or whether they are harmless irregularities. The good news is that there are several treatments, including leading a healthier lifestyle and avoiding usual triggers, for example, you might find you experience them more after drinking alcohol.
Treatments can vary based on the type of arrhythmia of the sufferer. Sometimes it is necessary to implant a cardiac pacemaker to override your natural pacemaker in order to set a proper rhythm, or use an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) to monitor and correct heart rate. Other times heart rate can be controlled with medication, for example, a slow heart rate can be treated in this way.
In all things heart-related, cardiac physiologists are our knights in shining armor. Cardiac physiology jobs are both specialized and varied. While they carry out a range of tests and monitor heart rates and blood pressure, they’ll also be involved in procedures such as looking inside arteries, inserting stents, and of course implanting pacemakers or ICDs. They are generally friendly people who are there to reassure you, so come forward with any worries that you may have.
Getting Along With Your Heart
Whether you receive medical care or are advised that your heart palpitations are harmless and do not require treatment, there are several lifestyle choices you can make to avoid experiencing the unpleasant symptoms. Monitor things like smoking, caffeine and alcohol intake, as either can increase your chance the chance of experiencing arrhythmia, as can being overweight. Be sure to stay active and get enough sleep.
Even if you have been previously assessed and told not to worry, if you start to experience more serious symptoms, make sure to get re-assessed so you can be certain not to have to worry. All in all, you can continue to live a normal life, minding some basic health factors.