Arrhythmias occur when the electrical impulses in your heart aren't working properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.
There are three categories of arrhythmias:
Arrhythmias are common problems affecting millions of people nationwide. In many cases, they are not serious, with occasional irregular heartbeats that may produce a fluttering feeling called palpitations. However, some heart arrhythmias can be severe and possibly life threatening.
Approximately four million Americans have arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats. However, many of these disorders go undetected because people do not recognize the symptoms.
Heart Rhythm abnormalities fall under three categories of arrhythmias:
A fast heart rhythm is when your heart beats too quickly. There are a few types of fast heart rhythms:
Bradycardia is a condition in which your heart beats very slowly. Most prevalent in people 65 years of age and older, a slow heart rhythm can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, confusion, or fainting. Some people may have no serious symptoms or complications, but in severe cases, bradycardia can lead to life-threatening complications.
Ventricular dyssynchrony, or uncoordinated heart rhythm, is a condition in which the two ventricles of your heart beat out of sync with each other. The uncoordinated pumping can lead to dangerous changes in the size and shape of the heart and more severe heart rhythm problems.
Risk factors for fast, slow, or uncoordinated heart rhythms include:
Some arrhythmias cannot be prevented - they are a result of genetics and family history.
However, maintaining a healthy heart lifestyle can help to prevent the development of any cardiac disease. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and consider ways to reduce stress.
We are fully committed to providing a caring, personal approach to every patient and family we see. We spend as much time with you as you need - answering all your questions and working together to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
The Heart Rhythm Program at The UVM Health Network includes internationally-recognized experts, several of whom were recruited from the world-renowned Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute, a center on the frontiers of heart rhythm care. We coordinate care around the network because we believe that patients around the region with heart rhythm disorders should have access to the best care close to home.
Some heart rhythm disorders can be easily treated with medications. Others may require the cardiac ablation or the implantation of a pacemaker or defibrillator. Our providers strive to help patients understand and evaluate appropriate treatments.
The UVM Health Network Heart Rhythm Program offers leading treatments, including:
Your primary care provider is an excellent resource if you experience any of the symptoms associated with arrhythmia. The hospital’s network of community-based primary care facilities can provide initial assessment and care, while introducing you to the health network’s cardiology specialists who can help diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.Find a Provider