An irregular heartbeat, otherwise known as an arrhythmia occurs when the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or has an irregular rhythm. It is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. Sometimes it can be felt by the person but sometimes it isn’t noticed until a doctor visit.
The heart naturally speeds up during physical activity and then slows back down during rest periods. It will also occasionally feel like it skips a beat or has a short burst. But if your loved one complains about feeling dizzy or faint to her companion care at home team while also frequently feeling these arrhythmias, it can mean that her heart is not pumping enough blood into her body.
While this condition is more common in the elderly, several risk factors may make it more likely that your loved one will develop an irregular heartbeat.
Caffeine, Nicotine, and Illegal Drugs
If your loved one uses any of these stimulants, it can cause her to have an irregular heartbeat. They cause the heart to beat faster than it should and might lead it to arrhythmia. Illegal drugs such as amphetamines or cocaine can cause such an increase, it can lead to immediate death. For most elderly people, nicotine and caffeine are the greatest culprits of irregular heartbeat and should be eliminated or reduced if your loved one has other risk factors.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
If your loved one has obstructive sleep apnea, it causes her to stop or pause breathing while sleeping. This can lead to a slow heartbeat in addition to irregular heartbeats. Treating her sleep apnea will help reduce her risk of developing a heart arrhythmia.
If your loved one has either an overactive thyroid or an underactive thyroid, it can lead to atrial fibrillation as the thyroid levels fluctuate.
High Stress or Anxiety
These often go hand-in-hand and can create an irregular heartbeat. Having a team of companion care at home providers help with daily stressful chores or even assist in calming exercises like yoga or long walks can help your loved one reduce her stress and take the pressure off of her heart.
High Blood Pressure
This condition increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease. It will sometimes also create stiff and thick walls of the left lower heart chamber (left ventricle), which can change how electrical signals travel through the heart, creating an irregular heartbeat. Helping your loved one manage her high blood pressure with diet, medications, and exercise can help.
Coronary artery disease, other heart problems, and previous heart surgery. Finally, all of these may also lead to heart arrhythmia. Narrowed heart arteries, abnormal heart valves, prior heart surgery, a heart attack, and other forms of heart damage are risk factors for arrhythmia.
Regular checkups and maintaining healthy heart habits can help reduce the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat but if you or your companion care at home team suspect your loved one may have one, plan a doctor visit soon to have her evaluated.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Companion Care at Home in Marysville, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties!
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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