What Is Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is a heart condition wherein the heartbeat slows down or falls below the normal heartbeat of 60 beats per minute. Although this can be a normal occurrence during sleep as well as in many trained athletes, having bradycardia in some people may also signal a heart problem.

Causes of bradycardia

Bradycardia can generally be caused by either two things- the heart’s natural pacemaker is not working properly or the electrical signals to the heart are being disrupted elsewhere. Both of these instances can cause the heart beat to slow down.

Symptoms of bradycardia

People with mild bradycardia usually display no symptoms. But for those who have the condition with their heartbeats falling to fewer than 50 times in a minute, some symptoms may be experienced due to the heart not being able to pump enough blood supply into the organs and tissues.

Symptoms include fainting, dizziness, fatigue and weakness, shortness of breath, chest pains, and heart palpitations.

How bradycardia is diagnosed?

Diagnosis of bradycardia includes taking and electrocardiogram or ECG test to measure the heart’s electrical impulses. The beating pattern of the heart can give doctors an idea of the type of bradycardia a patient may have.

Doctors may also use an event monitor consisting of wearing a portable ECG device to record heartbeat patterns while doing normal activities at home. The device can be turned on once certain symptoms are experienced for later evaluation.

How to prevent bradycardi?

Heart disease can increase a person’s risk of developing bradycardia. By trying to prevent heart disease by following a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen can help prevent bradycardia.

Controlling stress as well as avoiding smoking can also help. Having regular physical checkups can also help determine early occurrences of bradycardia in people.

How to treat bradycardi?

Treatment for bradycardia depends on its cause or on the symptoms being experienced. There is no need to treat bradycardia in patients not showing any symptoms.

But for those who do, treatment may range from using medication as well as using a device such as a pacemaker to regulate the heartbeat.

There are other conditions that may also cause bradycardia which includes thyroid disease, sleep apnea and others. Treating these conditions may also be needed to resolve bradycardia