Arrhythmia Specialist

South Orange Avenue Medical Associates

Internal Medicine & Interventional Cardiology located in South Orange, NJ, East Orange, NJ, & Newark, NJ

Are you experiencing a flutter in your chest? Does your heart beat too fast or too slow? You may have an arrhythmia. While not always a medical emergency, changes in your heartbeat should be evaluated. The experienced internal medicine and interventional cardiology team at South Orange Avenue Medical Associates can evaluate your heartbeat and conduct noninvasive tests to determine the underlying cause of your arrhythmia. Call the South Orange, New Jersey, office to schedule an evaluation.

Arrhythmia

What is an arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia is a medical term used to describe irregularities in your heartbeat. Your heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses that travel through specialized cells in your heart and assist in the pumping of blood through your heart’s chambers. If your electrical impulses aren’t coordinating as they should, then you may experience an irregular heartbeat, such as:

  • Too fast (tachycardia)
  • Too slow (bradycardia)
  • Extra heartbeats (premature heartbeat)

While arrhythmias don’t always cause symptoms, you may be able to feel the changes in your heartbeat in your chest, such as a fluttering sensation or a heart that’s beating too fast. Other symptoms may include lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. 

 

What causes an arrhythmia?

There are many possible reasons for an arrhythmia, and not all of them are cause for alarm. Some of the common causes include:

  • Heart attack
  • Blocked arteries (coronary artery disease)
  • Scar tissue in your heart
  • Stimulants such as caffeine
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Medications or supplements
  • Sleep apnea
  • Diabetes

In some cases, your irregular heartbeat may be a genetic trait. However, 

because an arrhythmia may be indicative of a heart attack, you shouldn’t delay an evaluation.

 

What can I expect during an evaluation for arrhythmia?

The team at South Orange Avenue Medical Associates conducts comprehensive examinations when you come to the office with concerns about heart health and an irregular heartbeat. The team reviews your symptoms, as well as your medical and family history. The team also performs a thorough physical exam to assess your overall health.

While the team may be able to diagnose your arrhythmia by simply listening to your heart, to identify the underlying cause of any irregularity, they may recommend diagnostic testing such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), an echocardiogram, or a cardiac stress test. 

 

What are the treatments for an arrhythmia?

Treatment for your arrhythmia may depend on whether you’re experiencing other symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. If you’re not having other symptoms, you may not need any treatment at all.

If your arrhythmia is causing severe symptoms or affecting your overall health, the team at South Orange Avenue Medical Associates may recommend specific treatments based on the type of arrhythmia you have and the underlying cause. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Medication
  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Cardioversion
  • Catheter ablation

Surgery, such as coronary bypass surgery, may also be recommended to help manage an arrhythmia.

For expert care from the cardiac experts, contact South Orange Avenue Medical Associates by phone today.