Estepona, January 27, 2022. Cardiac arrhythmia is a disorder of the heart rate and there are several types. In some cases, the heart may beat too fast (known as tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia), and in other cases irregularly. Depending on the individual case, arrhythmia may not cause any particular inconvenience for the patient, it may be a sign of other heart problems, or it may mean there is a serious health problem.
"There is a hereditary factor in the presence of arrhythmia, but there are also risk factors like smoking, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure or diabetes which can lead to heart disease appearing at younger ages," says Dr. Antonio Ramirez, Head of the Cardiology Service at Hospiten Estepona since more than 16 years ago.
More treatments for a better quality of life
In recent years, a lot of progress has been made in treatments to not only provide quality of life for patients with arrhythmia, but also in survival rates. This is the case of some serious arrhythmic pathologies, which, until relatively recently, could only be treated with a heart transplant, whereas today effective treatments can be offered.
"Years ago, cardiologists only treated these conditions with drugs," adds Dr. Ramirez. “Today there are many types of arrhythmia that can be cured definitively by means of a simple procedure. An electrophysiological study allows us to analyze exactly where the problem lies and through treatments like, for example, radiofrequency ablation, a lesion is produced that blocks the onset of the arrhythmia”, he adds.
Depending on the type of arrhythmia, these treatments can be definitive and with a single session under local anesthesia the problem can be solved. These are relatively simple procedures in some cases and more complex in others, but ultimately, they make it possible for patients to lead a normal life without the side effects of drugs.
In cases where the heartbeat is slower and for some severe arrhythmias, there are implantable devices like pacemakers, defibrillators and so on that can help prevent these situations from occurring.
When should you see the doctor?
Dr. Ramirez recommends consulting a doctor when an acceleration of the heart is associated with other symptoms like dizziness, loss of consciousness or chest pain. “If there is no trigger like exercise or stress, the arrhythmia may be an indicator that there is some type of pathological tachycardia,” he says.
The duration of the episode is also important. When the symptoms last just a few seconds, they are usually of little importance, especially if they are sporadic. However, if they happen quite a lot, no longer last for seconds but rather the sensation of a racing heart continues (even in the throat or neck area) for longer, then it is advisable to consult a specialist to rule out tachycardia or other more important types of arrhythmia. In many cases, a few simple tests will rule out problems.
Cardiovascular diseases are one of the most important causes of disability and mortality that currently affect our society. Hospiten Estepona has a Cardiology Service with a wide range of complementary specialty tests, focused on properly caring for patients with heart problems and cardiocirculatory diseases, as well as preventing and improving the prognosis of patients with risk factors or established cardiovascular pathologies.
About the Hospiten Group
The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network with 50 years of experience, committed to providing the highest quality service, and which has twenty private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, and more than a hundred outpatient offices under the brand Clinic Assist. The group is chaired by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella and attends more than 1,900,000 patients from all over the world every year with a workforce of more than 5,000 people.