Cardiology & Invasive Cardiologist located in Houston, TX
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Arrhythmias services offered in Houston, TX

Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats that may be due to something as simple as too much caffeine or as life-threatening as blocked coronary arteries. Cardiologist Humayun Naqvi, MD, MBA, at West Houston Heart Center in Houston, Texas, accurately diagnoses the cause of heart arrhythmias and develops personalized treatment plans that protect your cardiac health. Don’t ignore an irregular heartbeat. Schedule an evaluation today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

Arrhythmias Q & A

What is a heart arrhythmia?

Heart arrhythmias refer to irregular or abnormal heartbeats that occur when the electrical impulses controlling your heart’s rate and rhythm aren’t functioning correctly. Arrhythmias may cause your heart to beat too slowly, quickly, or irregularly.

Arrhythmias may be caused by:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disorders
  • Sodium or potassium imbalances
  • Damage sustained during a heart attack

A stressful lifestyle, poor sleep habits, and high caffeine or sugar intake can also trigger palpitations or arrhythmias.

Are there different types of arrhythmias?

Physicians generally classify arrhythmias according to the speed of the heartbeat and the area the irregular beat occurs. For instance, bradycardia is an unusually slow heartbeat of fewer than 60 beats per minute at rest.

Tachycardia occurs when your resting heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute. Types of tachycardia include:

Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)

A-fib originates in the atria (upper heart chambers) and causes a rapid, chaotic beat that, left untreated, greatly increases your risk of stroke.

Atrial flutter

Atrial flutter also originates in the atria and does increase your risk of stroke, but the heartbeats are generally less chaotic than those associated with A-fib.  

Supraventricular tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia includes arrhythmias that start above the lower heart chambers (ventricles) and are often described as palpitations that may begin and end abruptly.

Ventricular fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening, severe arrhythmia that causes the lower heart chambers to quiver rather than contract. This prevents the heart from pumping blood. It’s often related to underlying heart disease and requires emergency medical care.

Ventricular tachycardia

Ventricular tachycardia originates in the lower heart chambers and causes a rapid but regular heart rate that requires urgent medical attention.

When should I see a doctor for arrhythmias?

Dr. Naqvi recommends scheduling an appointment at West Houston Heart Center whenever you’re concerned about your cardiac health, especially if you develop new or increased palpitations or the sensation that your heart is beating too quickly or slowly.

Other concerning symptoms that may accompany arrhythmias requiring urgent medical care include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Anxiety
  • Profuse sweating
  • Extreme fatigue

Treatment depends on the type and severity of arrhythmia and may include medication to control your heart rate, changes in diet, or using a pacemaker.

Schedule an evaluation today at West Houston Heart Center. Call the office or request an appointment online.