Sinus arrhythmia is a heart rhythm disorder that occurs due to the influence of the sinus node in the atria. This is a benign condition, most people with sinus arrhythmia do not show serious symptoms and still lead a normal healthy life.
Sinus arrhythmia definition
Sinus arrhythmia is an abnormal condition in the heartbeat, originating from the sinus node in the heart (not related to the sinus cavities in the face). The sinus node located in the right atrium is the part that makes the heart beat naturally, responsible for the heartbeat.
This disorder includes the following cases:
- Sinus tachycardia: over 100 beats / minute. Sinus tachycardia is usually caused by a fever, stress, exercise, or certain medications.
- Sinus rhythm slow: less than 60 beats / minute. Sinus bradycardia usually appears while you sleep.
- Sinus respiratory arrhythmia
- Sinus arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart rate changes when you inhale and exhale. In other words, your heart rate depends on your breathing. When you inhale, your heart rate increases. When you exhale, it drops.
This condition is simply a natural change of heart rate and is not dangerous. In fact, respiratory sinus arrhythmias are common in both children and healthy adults.
Sinus arrhythmia may also occur in older adults. However, in this case, it is often related to heart disease or another heart problem. Sinus node damage can block the flow of electrical signals. Therefore, abnormally slow heart palpitations may be a sign of cardiovascular conditions requiring treatment.
Causes and symptoms of sinus arrhythmia
Currently, medicine has not found a clear explanation for sinus arrhythmia. The researchers suspect that this phenomenon may be due to the unusual combination of activity between the heart, lungs and blood vessel system that allows the heart to increase or decrease activity while maintaining adequate blood gas. .
In a young and healthy person, the disorder is not serious and usually does not show any symptoms. However, if you feel your heart beat abnormally or rapidly, you need to go to the hospital for a checkup. Palpitations in a short period of time are rarely dangerous, but they can still be a sign of a potential health risk to be prevented.
Diagnosis and treatment of sinus arrhythmia
To diagnose sinus arrhythmia, your doctor will conduct an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). This test can detect every aspect of your heartbeat, helping your doctor identify abnormal problems, including sinus arrhythmias.
In case of sinus arrhythmia, the patient still has normal heart rate / minute. However, the time between each beat will be different. Specifically, when the sick person inhales, this period will be shorter than when they exhale.
One thing to keep in mind is that your doctor may not order you to get tested even if he or she suspects you have symptoms of an irregular heartbeat. That’s because measuring EKG is very expensive, moreover, this disorder is considered a benign condition. Doctors only order an EKG test if they suspect a patient has a different condition or disorder accompanied by symptoms to monitor.
Usually, sinus arrhythmias do not need to be treated. This condition in young children will disappear when they reach adulthood. The doctor may recommend that the patient be monitored and treated only when it causes symptoms that affect daily life or continue to exist in adolescence.
If you have sinus arrhythmia caused by a heart problem, such as a heart condition, your doctor will directly treat the cause of the disorder. Depending on the specific cause, the method of treatment will also vary.
Complications of sinus arrhythmia
Sinus arrhythmias rarely lead to dangerous complications. In some cases, if your sinus rhythm is too fast or slow, you may experience complications such as:
- Sinus bradycardia: Dizziness, shortness of breath, and fainting
- Sinus tachycardia: Palpitations, dizziness and chest pain
Other problems causing arrhythmia
In addition to sinus arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythms can also originate from many other causes, including:
- Atrial fibrillation: The heart beats irregularly, the heart muscles quiver instead of contracting as usual
- Supraventricular tachycardia: A fast heartbeat at rest.
- Cardiac / block heart block: The heart beats more slowly due to the conduction of the electrical impulses from the atria to the ventricle partially or totally blocked.
- Ventricular fibrillation: The heart has no stable rhythm leading to loss of consciousness and death if left untreated.
Factors that increase the risk of arrhythmia include:
- Drinking alcohol
- Use tobacco
- Excessive exercise
- Consume caffeine
- Use some medications
- Illness caused by virus
- Conditions such as heart attack or heart failure
Pathological sinus syndrome
Sick sinus syndrome (SSS) is a sinus node dysfunction, usually resulting from aging of the sinus node and its replacement with fibrous tissue over time.
Some types of arrhythmia associated with SSS include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Sinus rhythm slow
- Syndrome of tachycardia – slow
- Sinus rest
SSS often affects older people. The disease can cause a number of symptoms such as fainting, fast heartbeat, fatigue, shortness of breath. If left untreated, SSS can cause serious health problems, affecting the lives of patients. In addition, certain medications such as digoxin, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers can make SSS worse.
Sinus arrhythmia is a benign condition and is not dangerous. However, you need to be careful when abnormal heart rhythms are caused by other types of heart rhythm disorders. In particular, disorders in older adults need to be further investigated as it may be related to an underlying cardiovascular condition.