Know your Heart: What is Arrhythmia & Dysrhythmia?

If you have heart disease or know about heart conditions, you have probably heard of Arrhythmia & Dysrhythmia. So, what’s the difference between these two? These two terms often lead to confusion among patients. Well, Arrhythmia is where the heart beats irregularly, often too fast or too slow. Dysrhythmia is where the heart beats irregularly, but not enough to be classified as arrhythmia. It can be caused by many different things, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Arrhythmia and dysrhythmia are often grouped because they both refer to irregularities in the heartbeat. The term Arrhythmia is commonly used by doctors. 

If we go by word, the prefix ‘a’ in arrhythmia denotes the absence of something (in this case heartbeat rhythm). On the other hand, the prefix ‘dys’ in dysrhythmia denotes the abnormality of something (in this case heart rhythm). Irregular heartbeats are a common occurrence and most people don’t even know they have them. It can go from harmless to life-threatening if the patient does not get a timely diagnosis and treatment. Knowing your risk factors, keeping health vital signs monitor accessible can help you take steps to stay alert about your heart health changes.

What is the normal heart rate?

The normal heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute when you are at rest. It should be around 60 to 100 beats per minute. This number can vary depending on the person’s age, sex, fitness level, and other factors. According to the American Heart Association, a lower heart rate (as low as 40) is common in athletes and physically active people. Generally, if your resting heart rate is lower than 60 or higher than 100, it may be a sign of an underlying heart condition. 

Types of Irregular Heartbeats

  • Tachycardia: It is when the heart beats faster than normal. The heart rate is usually over 100 beats per minute.
  • Bradycardia: It is when the heart beats too slowly. The heart rate is usually less than 60 beats per minute.
  • Other irregular heartbeats include Supraventricular arrhythmias, Ventricular arrhythmias, etc.

We highly recommend keeping a cardiac health monitoring device like CuroMe at home or carry with you. It is a portable, light-weight, 5-in-1 patient monitoring device that can help you know your health vitals such as blood pressure, heart rate, ECG, SpO2, and Temperature instantly, on the go!

(Click here to know more about CuroMe Health Monitor by Curofone).

Risk factors for Arrhythmia/Dysrhythmia

Arrhythmia is a problem with the heart’s electrical system. Changes in heart tissue can disrupt the electrical signal sequence, resulting in arrhythmia. 

Other risk factors include:

  • A problem with the heart muscle itself
  • Damage to the heart (from a previous heart attack or heart surgery)
  • A problem with genetics
  • A problem with the blood flowing to or from your heart
  • An injury to the chest or neck that affects your heart’s electrical system
  • A problem with the thyroid gland (which controls hormone levels) 
  • A problem with the adrenal gland (which controls stress hormones)
  • Underlying health conditions such as BP, Sleep apnea
  • Excessive smoking and consumption of alcohol

When to see your cardiologist?

Arrhythmias can show symptoms like palpitations, dizziness, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, chest pain, fainting, etc. The first step is to see your doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis if you think you have these symptoms. Your doctor will determine if you need further testing or treatment. Some people with arrhythmias may not experience any symptoms at all. 

If you have one or more risk factors for arrhythmia, like high blood pressure or diabetes, it’s important to see your cardiologist regularly for screenings and follow-up care. No more excuses! Teleconsult your cardiologist using the Curofone app anytime, anywhere. The app’s features like booking appointments, sharing health vitals reports with your cardiologist, rescheduling consultations, make it a wise choice. Plus, the CardioCare Plan is a comprehensive cardiac care solution, highly recommended if you already have a heart condition or your goal is to stay heart healthy. Get in touch with Curofone to get a free demo today!