Dealing With Arrhythmia

December 8, 2014Comments Off on Dealing With Arrhythmia

Not many people may be aware of it but most cases of arrhythmia are actually harmless and could, in fact, be left on its own. This is is what is commonly known as ectopic beats. An ectopic beat, also known as ectopic rhythm, is actually caused by a premature contraction in the atria. Most people describe it as a fluttering sensation; although, what they are describing is already the beat following the ectopic one. Unfortunately, there are still a handful that are considered by most cardiologists as clinically significant. In cases like these, the doctor would put a treatment plan into plan into place.

Aim of the Treatment Plan

Typically, the treatment plan for arrhythmia depends on the type and its cause as well as the severity of the condition. However, it usually also features such goals as:

  • control of the heart rate in order to prevent the occurrence of heart attack
  • prevent blood clot formation
  • reduce the risk factors involved
  • provide a permanent treatment to the root cause of the arrhythmia.

The Treatment Plan

1. Medication

Generally, doctors would prescribe blood thinners for people suffering from arrhythmia in order to ensure that blood clots do not form. Other medications that might be prescribed would include anti-arrhythmic drugs that control just how fast or slow the rate of your heart beat is, calcium channel blockers to make sure that your blood pressure does not shoot up, and beta blockers in order to control your adrenalin level.

2. RF Ablation

In this treatment, RF energy is applied to a specific point in the heart muscle where the cells that trigger the extra beat are located. Upon application of the RF energy, the cells die and the heart is able to keep to a normal beating pattern.

3. Defibrillation

This might seem similar to the RF Ablation although, in a defibrillation, electric shock instead of RF energy is applied to the heart. Just like with an RF Ablation, defibrillation aims to restore normal contraction rhythm to the heart. However, defibrillation is typically used in situations where the patient could be suffering from a heart attack brought about by his or her arrhythmia.

4. Use of Medical Devices

There are generally two devices that most doctors use when treating arrhythmia – ICD, or what is known as the Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator’ and Pacemakers. The ICD is typically used in patients that have ventricular tachycardia. It is a battery-powered device that has small wires connected to the heart. Each time the heart skips a beat, an electric impulse is applied in order to restore normal beating pattern. On the other hand, an artificial pacemaker is typically used in patients that have heart beats that fluctuate form time to time.

Of course, aside from the treatment plan, you would also need to adjust your lifestyle. Some of the changes that you would need to make would include having an AED unit on hand. This would make it easy for those around you to stabilize you should the inevitable happen. You would also need to make sure that you avoid certain food types such as those that have caffeine. You might also need to check with your doctor first before you use cough and cold medication.