Tachycardia refers to a heart that is beating abnormally fast. Typically, an individual's heart rate must be faster than one hundred beats per minute to be considered tachycardia. Some patients may experience this condition as a side effect of medications, especially those that lower blood pressure. A heart attack, heart failure, anemia, conditions involving an overactive thyroid, and an abnormal heart structure can also cause it. Risk factors for certain types include smoking or drinking excessive caffeine.
In some cases, anti-arrhythmic medication for tachycardia is prescribed. Some patients receive anti-arrhythmic injections in the hospital. Another potential treatment for some types of tachycardia is cardioversion, which involves a shock to the heart that is given through paddles. Additionals treatments include surgery and a pacemaker for tachycardia. However, treatment for tachycardia can vary depending on what type a patient is experiencing.
Atrial flutter is the type of tachycardia that affects the atria, which are the upper chambers of the heart. It occurs when the atria beat faster than they should. However, though the atria are beater fast, they still maintain a regular heartbeat. This is one of many arrhythmias that might occur because of problems with the heart's electrical pulses. Atrial flutter presents similarly to atrial fibrillation. However, unlike atrial fibrillation, the rhythm in atrial flutter tends to be organized and non-chaotic. Some patients experience symptoms of both atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Other individuals do not have any symptoms related to the disorder, aside from a fast heart rate. The disorder can, however, lead to heart failure, stroke, and other potentially serious complications.
This type of tachycardia is treatable, and patients might be prescribed medication. Doctors may also recommend a procedure that involves scarring the heart. The most significant risk of this condition is that the heart will struggle to circulate blood correctly when it is beating too quickly. The complications tend to occur when organs do not get the proper supply of oxygen.
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