Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow heart rate, with the heart beating fewer than 60 times per minute. In most cases, adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute. When bradycardia occurs, it can lead to insufficient pumping of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, which can be a serious problem. Symptoms of bradycardia may include dizziness, fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath. However, sometimes bradycardia may not cause any noticeable symptoms or complications.
It’s important to note that a slow heart rate is not always a cause for concern. During sleep or in certain individuals, such as healthy young adults and trained athletes, it is quite common to have a resting heart rate between 40 and 60 beats per minute. In these cases, bradycardia is not typically associated with any adverse effects.
However, when bradycardia becomes severe and leads to symptoms or complications, medical intervention may be necessary. In such cases, the placement of an implanted pacemaker can help regulate and maintain an appropriate heart rate. This device helps regulate the heart’s rhythm and ensures that it beats at a rate that adequately meets the body’s oxygenation needs. Overall, bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow heart rate, typically below 60 beats per minute. While it can be a serious problem if it prevents the heart from pumping sufficient oxygenated blood, it can also occur without causing any harmful effects, particularly in individuals who are physically active. When symptoms are present, bradycardia is usually a treatable condition with a positive prognosis.
Most cases of bradycardia do not have any symptoms, especially for those who are physically active since their hearts are more efficient. However, in some cases, bradycardia can hinder the brain and other organs from receiving enough oxygen, leading to the following signs and symptoms:
If you notice any signs or symptoms of bradycardia, it’s crucial to seek a timely and accurate diagnosis as well as appropriate care. If you have concerns about a slow heart rate, it’s advisable to consult your healthcare provider. In the event that you experience fainting, difficulty breathing, or persistent chest pain lasting more than a few minutes, it is important to immediately call emergency medical services.
Bradycardia happens when the signals originating from the sinus node in the right atrium of the heart slow down or experience blockages. In a normal heart, there are four chambers: two atria (upper chambers) and two ventricles (lower chambers). The sinus node, a cluster of cells located in the upper right chamber, acts as the heart’s intrinsic pacemaker. It generates the electrical impulses that initiate each heartbeat.
Generally, bradycardia can be a result of:
Bradycardia can occur to anyone at any age. However, certain risk factors may contribute to a higher risk. Since this condition is linked with cardiac tissue damage caused by some form of heart disease, anything that raises the risk of heart disease increase the risk of bradycardia.
Several risk factors include:
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