What Are the Basics of Tachycardia?

1 Answer

What is tachycardia?

Tachycardia means a high resting heart rate. Typically, a stationary adult heart beats 60 to 100 times a minute. When a person has tachycardia, the heart rate in his upper or lower chambers is significantly increased. When the heart beats too fast, its pumping efficiency decreases, and blood flow to other parts of the body, including the heart itself, decreases. Tachycardia is dangerous because the heart beats faster and the heart muscle or heart muscle needs more oxygen. If the condition persists, anoxic heart cells may die, leading to a heart attack.

Causes.

Tachycardia is usually caused by the interruption of electrical impulses that control the normal beating of our heart. Sometimes health care workers can't even determine the cause of tachycardia, but it can be caused by:
  • drug reaction
  • excessive drinking
  • congenital heart hypoplasia
  • hypertension
  • smoking

Symptoms.

It is not uncommon for some tachycardia patients to have no symptoms at all. So this is usually found during a physical examination. But tachycardia can also have the following signs and symptoms:
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure
  • palpitations
  • shortness of breath
  • fainting

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Complications.

The most common complications include:
  • Heart failure: heart failure is when the heart fails to pump blood effectively or properly throughout the body.
  • Syncope: a person with a rapid heartbeat may lose consciousness.
  • Sudden death: this is usually caused by ventricular tachycardia.

Treatment.

Treatments vary depending on the cause of the condition, the patient's age, general health status and other factors. The aim of treatment is to address the causes of tachycardia. When applied clinically, doctors may try to slow down, prevent subsequent tachycardia and reduce the risk of complications. In some cases, what is needed is treatment for the cause. In other cases, no underlying cause has been identified and doctors may have to try different treatments. There are three main methods:
  • Vagal maneuvers
  • Medication
  • Cardioversion
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