Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, MD
Bradycardia is a condition where your heart rate is too low. What is considered as bradycardia is depending upon your physical condition and your age. Adults and old age peoples often get too slow heart rate.
Normally, 60 to 100 beats per minute is considered a normal heart rate. If the heart rate falls below 60 beats per minute, it is considered as bradycardia and above 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia.
In athletes, or highly physically active peoples have a low heart rate which is common when you sleep your heart rate may go below 60 beats per minute which is also normal. These are the few exceptions of bradycardia.
Symptoms of Bradycardia
In bradycardia, our heart rate is slow down which causes less oxygen supply to the brain and other parts of the body resulting in:
Causes of Bradycardia
Bradycardia can be caused by several reasons. These are as follows
Damage to heart tissues due to old age or disease
Problems in sinus node
Inflammation of the heart
Infections of the heart (myocarditis)
Imbalance of potassium and calcium
Certain medications of heart like beta-blockers
patients with older age are more prone to getting bradycardia. Heart problems are more common in people who are in their old age.
Risk factors of bradycardia is related to heart tissues damage cause b certain disease or complications in the heart.It may be associated with certain factors which are:
Alcohol intake in the large amount
Recreational drug use
High blood pressure
Diagnosis of Bradycardia
It is little bit difficult for the doctors to conclude the bradycardia because bradycardia is not always present. It fluctuates as sometimes the heart rate is normal and sometimes it slows down.
The best way to diagnose bradycardia is ECG where your doctor may be able to monitor the electrical system of the heart. The second approach to diagnose bradycardia is to put the patient on holter monitor for 24 hours where your heart’s electrical activity is monitored for a whole day. If there is a fluctuation or tachycardia, all will be in the holter.
Instead of this, your doctor may closely monitor you and ask for medicines taking for high blood pressure. Bradycardia is also caused by infection of the heart, low thyroid levels. All these things will be checked by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of bradycardia.
Treatment of Bradycardia
It is very essential to know the actual cause of bradycardia and on the basis of that cause treatment is started with certain medicines and pacemakers. Some people take high blood pressure medicines which are known as beta-blockers, it reduces the heartbeat and sometime cause bradycardia. Dose adjustment of beta-blockers may be required to regulate the heartbeat.
Borderline or occasional slow heart rate have not required any treatment. it is settled over time. In rare conditions, if the problem remains present, your cardiologist puts a small device in the chest called a pacemaker that regulates the heartbeat.