Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is a fairly common condition that affects the heart, causing it to beat abnormally fast. This can last for both short and extended periods with the frequency of episodes varying from person to person. The cause is attributed to having an extra electrical connection within the heart. Though the problem is present when a person is born, they may not develop symptoms until later in life. In fact, many cases of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome are diagnosed in young adults who are otherwise healthy. This is because the extra electrical connection sometimes does not cause any symptoms to appear, and the irregularly fast heartbeat can only be detected using an electrocardiogram (ECG) test. Though they can occur randomly, episodes can be triggered by excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption as well as strenuous exercise. Get to know the symptoms now.
Dizziness and lightheadedness are two of the more common signs of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Everyone's heart rate varies at different points throughout the day, depending on their activity, but those who are at risk for the syndrome should be aware of unexplained changes in their heart activity. Dizziness can make a person feel off-balance and like they're in a whirlwind, but it's typically not considered very serious. Take care of yourself by sitting down and resting until the lightheadedness or disorientation passes. If the problem prevails, however, seek advice from a physician.
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Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath is another symptom associated with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Having a heart condition can be a scary thing, but this is usually not one of the more severe ones. When an episode occurs, individuals with this syndrome can feel as if they've lost their breath, as if they'd just done strenuous exercise. However, shortness of breath when associated with a condition like Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can often be triggered by seemingly nothing at all. Try to remain calm until the episode passes, and stop your activity if it occurs during exercise. This is the same for drinking caffeine or other substances that can elicit a similar reaction. Be conscious of what your body is telling you, and act accordingly.
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Heart palpitations can occur for a variety of reasons, but they are perhaps most scary when they happen out of nowhere. These can be defined as feeling a pounding or fluttering heartbeat, as opposed to a normal, regulated one. Again, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is typically not something to be overwhelmed by. However, if you experience heart palpitations as a system, it's important to be tested to rule out another type of irregular heartbeat disorder, called atrial fibrillation. If you have Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome along with this, the condition can actually be life-threatening. However, this is rare, and treatment certainly reduces this risk.
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Anxiety can greatly exacerbate the symptoms associated with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Unfortunately, everyone feels anxious at some point in their lives. Your palms may begin to sweat, you may tremble a bit, your mind races, and, usually, your heart rate increases. When this begins to happen regularly, it might be a sign larger forces are at play. If you begin to have regular episodes of anxiety, especially if there is no clear, identifiable cause or trigger, be sure to visit a physician to undergo an ECG to rule out Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Though regular anxiousness could be a sign of psychological distress, the physical symptoms mirror those of a heart condition.
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In more severe cases of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, cardiac arrest can occur. This is a life-threatening symptom that requires immediate medical attention. Call for an ambulance, or have a loved one call one for you, if your heartbeat doesn't return to normal a few minutes after increasing or if you have chest pain that lasts longer than fifteen minutes. Cardiac arrest is also characterized by short breathing, sweating, fainting, and pain in the arms, back, or jaw. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and they collapse or faint during an episode, this is a huge red flag, and emergency care should be sought immediately.