Tachycardia

The condition in which your heart beats faster then normal during rest, the condition is said to be Tachycardia. The  average normal heart beat is 72 beats per minute. Tachycardia occurs when an abnormality in the heart produces rapid electrical signals that quicken the heart rate, which is normally about 60 to 100 beats a minute at rest.

Types of Tachycardia

There are many types of abnormal tachycardia, classify on the basis of origin and cause of abnormal fast heartbeat. Common types of Tachycardia includes:

  • Atrial Fibrillation, the most common type of tachycardia. It is a rapid heart rate caused by chaotic, irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). These signals result in rapid, uncoordinated, weak contractions of the atria.
  • Atrial Flutter, the heart’s atria beat very fast but at a regular rate. The fast rate results in weak contractions of the atria.
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), abnormally fast heartbeat that originates somewhere above the ventricles.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia, rapid heart rate that originates with abnormal electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).
  • Ventricular Fibrillation, occurs when rapid, chaotic electrical impulses cause the ventricles to quiver ineffectively instead of pumping necessary blood to the body. This can be fatal if the heart isn’t restored to a normal rhythm within minutes with an electric shock to the heart (defibrillation).

Risk factors of Tachycardia

Factors that may increase the risk of Tachycardia are:

  • Heart disease.
  • HTN.
  • Sleep Apnea.
  • Hyperthyroidism. 
  • Hypothyroidism .
  • Smoking.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heavy Alcohol use.
  • Heavy Caffeine use.
  • Use of Recreational Drugs.
  • Psychological Stress or Anxiety.
  • Anemia.
  • Family History.
  • Age.

Symptoms of Tachycardia

Some people with tachycardia have no symptoms, and the condition is only discovered during a physical examination. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Rapid pulse rate.
  • Heart palpitations. 
  • Chest pain.
  • Fainting (syncope).

Causes of Tachycardia

Sometimes the exact cause of tachycardia can’t be determined. Some causes include:

  • Damage to heart tissues from heart disease.
  • Disease or Congenital abnormality of the heart.
  • Anemia.
  • Exercise.
  • Sudden Stress, such as fright.
  • HTN.
  • Hypotension.
  • Smoking.
  • Fever.
  • Drinking too much Alcohol.
  • Drinking too many Caffeinated beverages.
  • Medication side effects.
  • Abuse of Recreational Drugs, such as Cocaine.
  • Imbalance of Electrolytes, mineral-related substances necessary for conducting electrical impulses.
  • Hyperthyroidism.

Diagnosis

Heart tests may be need to diagnose tachycardia which includes:

1.Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • Holter Monitor.
  • Event Monitor.

2.Electrophysiological Test

3.Cardiac Imaging

  • Echocardiogram (Echo).
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Computerized Tomography (CT).
  • Coronary Angiogram.
  • Chest X-Ray.

4.Stress Test

5.Tilt Table Test

Treatment