Undiagnosed Heart Rhythm disorder can be a potential Killer says Dr. Rajat Sharma

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The heart rhythm disorder or in simple term the electrical heart disease  has gained the position of a leading heart ailment in the last few decades and is a major health concern today. Millions of people globally are already suffering from these disorders and many more will be falling pray to these heart rhythm disorders in times to come. Lack of awareness in the community and the healthcare givers makes the situation worse. Subtle or misinterpretation of symptoms to an impending heart attack usually leads to nondetection or lack of accurate treatment of these electrical diseases of the heart.

On the occasion of World heart day & AF awareness month, at Fortis Hospital Mohali, Dr Rajat Sharma, highlighted the importance to distinguish between common heart attacks and various heart rhythm disorders. Commonly a heart related ailment is considered due to blockage in the heart arteries. This common misconception needs to be changed. The heart attacks which results from clogged arteries of the heart and should not be confused or equated to these electrical heart disorders. Dr Sharma- explained that heart rhythm disorders result from abnormalities or short-circuiting in the electrical system of the heart”. He added, a heart rhythm specialist or an cardiac electrophysiologist may be of immense importance in managing these ailments.

Cardiac electrophysiology is the most complex and advanced branch of Cardiology, which deals with these electrical abnormalities of the heart and highly trained specialists specialize in managing these ailments of the heart.” There is growing need of such specialist in identifying and appropriate management of such electrical heart disorders.

The basic symptoms of heart rhythm disorder include palpitation, fluttering sensation or extreme racing of the heart. At times it may be non-serious, but it can often be life-threatening, occasional skipped beats, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, blackouts, fainting or near fainting, and regular heart rhythm.

Discussing about the symptoms of heart rhythm disorder, Dr. Sharma said, “Each heart has its own normal rhythm that begins in the heart’s natural ‘pacemaker’ or the sinus node. An abnormally fast heart rhythm, or tachycardia, can result from very fast electrical activities or short-circuit in the electrical circuit of the heart”. A very common form of heart rhythm disorder called “Atrial Fibrillation””, can be responsible for significant morbidity and even stroke if not treated adequately. Similarly many heart rhythm diseases can cause sudden cardiac death or SCD. The slow heart beats and poor pumping function of the heart also are responsible for significant mortality and morbidity. These can be managed by an appropriate pacemaker implantation. Hence, there is a need to be aware about these heart rhythm disorders and seek the appropriate treatment.