Heart Arrythmias

Heart Arrythmias

A heart arrhythmia (uh-RITH-me-uh) is an irregular heartbeat or any problem in the rate or rhythm of a person’s heartbeat. The heartbeat may be too fast or too slow, or this pattern may be inconsistent.

The electrical impulses during an arrhythmia do not work properly.

What are the types of Heart arrythmias?

For most adults, the normal heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute, though some athletes can have rates as low as the 40s. Heart arrhythmias are grouped by the speed of the heart rate, like –

  • Fast heartbeat (Tachycardia): Heart rate is greater than 100 beats a minute.
  • Slow heartbeat (Bradycardia): Heart rate is less than 60 beats a minute.

What are the types of tachycardia (fast heartbeat)?

  • Atrial fibrillation (AFib): Rapid, uncoordinated heartbeat with chances of heartbeat more than 400 times a minute. AFib may be temporary and start and stop on its own but has also been linked to stroke.
  • Atrial flutter: Like AFib but, usually more organized and regular.
  • Supraventricular tachycardia: Irregular heartbeats starting from above the lower heart chambers (ventricles).
  • Ventricular fibrillation: Rapid, chaotic electrical signals results in lower heart chambers to quiver instead of squeezing in a coordinated way. Usually, people with ventricular fibrillation have an underlying heart disease or had a serious injury.
  • Ventricular tachycardia: Irregular heart rate starts due to faulty electrical signals in the lower heart chambers (ventricles). The ventricles do not get filled with blood completely due to irregular heart rate. If a person has a healthy heart, ventricular tachycardia may not cause serious problems. With others, it needs immediate attention.

Types of bradyarrhythmias include:

Sinus node dysfunction: Caused by a problem with your sinus node (heart’s natural pacemaker).

Heart block: A delay or block in the electrical impulses travelling from the heart’s sinus node to its lower chambers.

What are the symptoms of Heart arrythmias?

There may be silent arryhtmias that could be difficult even for the doctor to assess. The symptoms are:

  • Palpitations (a feeling of skipped heartbeats, fluttering, or “flip-flops”)
  • Chest pounding
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Feeling very tired (Weakness or fatigue)
  • Anxiety (feeling of uneasiness)
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat or Slow heartbeat


  1. India Hypertension Control Initiative, a high impact and low-cost solution. WHO. March 2024.–a-high-impact-and-low-cost-solution
  2. Health Threats from High Blood Pressure. American Heart Association. March 2024.
  3. High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension’s effects on your body. Mayo Clinic. March 2024.

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