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When a person has heart palpitations, they may notice that their heartbeat does not feel right. Often, it is not serious, but it can indicate a condition that needs medical attention. People are not usually aware of their heartbeat, but sometimes, it comes to their notice. This may be because their heart is pounding too hard, too fast, too slow, or irregularly. This article explores the causes of heart palpitations, how to test for them, and some treatment options for them.
A person may feel a heart palpitation in the neck, throat, or chest. They may even feel them in the ear if they are lying down. For some people, palpitations last for only a few secondswhile other people may experience them for minutes or hours at a time. In many cases, palpitations are annoying but not serious. However, they can be a symptom of arrhythmia, and they may also be a warning of cardiac arrest.
For this reason, it is a good idea for people who experience heart palpitations to seek medical advice. Many factors can trigger heart palpitations.
Some common causes include physical or mental stressanxietydehydration, and lack of sleep. Palpitations can stem from a wide range of heart conditions. They are often linked to abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmia. However, this can also be a of an underlying condition.
It may also be a warning of heart failure or a heart attack, both of which can result from a range of structural and other issues. What is the link between anxiety and heart palpitations? Certain medications can also trigger heart palpitations. These include :. Certain underlying medical conditions may be the cause of heart palpitations.
Why do heart palpitations happen after eating? Learn more about why heart palpitations happen here.
Many cases of heart palpitations are harmless. However, if they are a of an underlying heart condition, there can be serious complications. Heart palpitations usually pass quickly and are not serious, but it is a good idea to speak with a doctor if they occur. Inexperts advised healthcare professionals to assess people for cardiovascular problems if they seek advice for palpitations. Depending on the symptoms, the doctor may also do blood tests, an exercise stress test, and other investigations, such as asking the person to wear an arrhythmia monitor at home.
Not everyone with heart palpitations will need treatment. If a person starts to have palpitations while taking certain medications, a doctor may recommend an alternative. The doctor may prescribe antiarrhythmic drugs, such as beta-blockers or non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker therapy. During catheter ablation surgerya cardiologist will thread an ablation device into the heart through a catheter that passes through a deep vein in the groin, neck, or chest.
The device causes scars to form over faulty electrical tracts in the heart.
This can help correct the way in which electrical impulses travel through the heart. A pacemaker is a permanent cardiac device that monitors and treats electrical conditions of the heart. Some people experience regular palpitations, which may be bothersome. To reduce these, a person can try the following:. Get some tips on how to stop heart palpitations here. Often, lifestyle strategies can help reduce or stop non-serious palpitations.
For example, people should try to reduce or avoid the following:. Many people experience heart palpitations from time to time. They can be non-severe, and some people will not need treatment. However, they can also indicate an underlying health condition. For this reason, people should seek help if the palpitations occur unexpectedly or often, if they have an existing heart condition, or if they have other symptoms. Anyone with s of cardiac arrest — a loss of consciousness and detectable pulse — needs emergency defibrillation and CPR. Learn more here.
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Medically reviewed by Dr. Payal Kohli, M. Overview Common causes Complications Diagnosis Treatment options Home remedies Prevention Summary When a person has heart palpitations, they may notice that their heartbeat does not feel right. Common causes. Tests and diagnosis. Treatment options. Home remedies. Latest news Stroke mortality in women: Height loss may indicate risk. Can we eat fish sustainably and maintain health benefits?
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What to know about heart palpitations