What is Bradycardia?
An abnormally slow heartbeat, or bradycardia, is defined as a heart rate lower than 60 beats per minute. Some people who have slow heartbeats are completely healthy. But for others, a slow heartbeat might mean that not enough blood is being pumped to supply the needs of the heart itself.
At its most serious, the condition can cause cardiac arrest and death.
Symptoms of Bradycardia
Bradycardia doesn’t always cause symptoms. In some people, such as athletes, a slow heartbeat may be normal and completely healthy. If symptoms do occur, they include:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Chest discomfort
- Difficulty sleeping
UR Medicine's Treatments for Bradycardia
A major cause of a slow heartbeat is a problem with the conduction system of your heart that acts as an electrical wiring system. This system can be damaged or degenerate over time, causing your heart rate to slow down or skip beats.
Because some common medications can slow your heart rate, your cardiologist will determine if a current medication is the cause of your slow heartbeat. Often, lowering the dosage or taking an alternate medication can help resolve the problem.
Your cardiologist may recommend a pacemaker, a small device placed in the chest with wires extended to your heart. When necessary, the pacemaker produces electrical impulses that keep your heart beating at a steady pace.
Other disorders—such as hypothyroidism—can also cause a slow heartbeat. If so, your cardiologist will recommend treatment for the underlying condition.
What Sets Us Apart?
Patients come from around the world to take advantage of our expertise in heart rhythm disorders.
If you need a pacemaker, our Electrophysiology (EP) Lab at UR Medicine Cardiac Care will implant it. Our EP Lab& is considered a world leader in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders like slow heartbeats.;
We have three EP labs equipped with the latest imaging and mapping devices to pinpoint the cause of an abnormal heart rhythm. Our labs are staffed by a team of cardiologists, nurses, and technicians.
UR Medicine Cardiac Care is also a leader in research on heart rhythm disorders. This research helps ensure that you receive cutting-edge care.
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