Heart palpitations are heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable. Although this is frequently distressing it is rarely dangerous and is not necessarily associated with a heart rhythm abnormality.  But what are palpitations and why do people have them?

Heart Rhythm Disturbances

Patients with heart rhythm disturbances can present with a wide variety of symptoms when the heart is beating too fast.  This is known as tachycardia.  It can also beat too slowly which is called bradycardia.

Occasionally an abnormality can be detected that might need further investigation in an otherwise healthy person with no symptoms.

What are Palpitations?

The most common symptom that people experience is palpitations. This simply means an awareness of your heart beating.

According to the NHS, there are various triggers for palpitations.  Causes of heart palpitations include lifestyle, emotions and psychological triggers or medication.  In addition, hormone changes, heart conditions or other medical conditions could cause these symptoms.

Palpitations can be associated with breathlessness, fatigue, chest discomfort, light-headedness, and even rarely blackouts. Occasionally these symptoms can occur in the absence of palpitations so if you are concerned you should seek advice.

Conditions associated with palpitations include:

Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs or ectopics)
Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
Atrial flutter or fibrillation (AF)
Atrial tachycardia
Ventricular tachycardia (VT)

Treatment for Heart Palpitations

In order to treat heart palpitations, a thorough assessment is needed to establish the cause of your heart rhythm problem.  The results of this will enable an appropriate management plan to be established so you can be sure the right treatment is in place.

Depending on the results of the assessment, there are various options and each will be discussed because the right treatment is imperative.  These range from management with medicines to catheter ablation or insertion of a cardiovascular implantable electronic device. These are more commonly known as pacemakers or cardioverter-defibrillators.

Contact Dr Begley

To make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and find out more information about what are heart palpitations, please contact us.  Dr David Begley’s Personal Assistant, Lynn Thomas, is available via Phone on 01223 850 423 or email so why not contact us today.