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Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.

Heart arrhythmias may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless. However, some heart arrhythmias may cause bothersome — sometimes even life-threatening — signs and symptoms.

Heart arrhythmia treatment can often control or eliminate fast, slow or irregular heartbeats. In addition, because troublesome heart arrhythmias are often made worse — or are even caused — by a weak or damaged heart, you may be able to reduce your arrhythmia risk by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

The specialization of cardiology that deals with arrhythmia is electrophysiology. Here at the Heart Centre of the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus we offer patients with Arrhythmia the latest and most effective treatment available today.

Symptoms and when to see a Doctor

Arrhythmias may not cause any signs or symptoms. In fact, your doctor might find you have an arrhythmia before you do, during a routine examination.

Noticeable signs and symptoms don't necessarily mean you have a severe problem, however Arrhythmias may cause you to feel premature or extra heartbeats, or you may feel that your heart is racing or beating too slowly. Other signs and symptoms may be related to your heart not pumping effectively due to the fast or slow heartbeat.

Noticeable arrhythmia symptoms may include:

A fluttering in your chest; A racing heartbeat (tachycardia); A slow heartbeat (bradycardia); Chest pain or discomfort; Shortness of breath; Light-headedness or dizziness; Sweating; Fainting (syncope) or near fainting


Your doctor will try to find out what triggers the arrhythmia. This will involve a detailed interview, which may include your medical history, family history, diet, and lifestyle.

The following tests might be ordered:

  • blood and urine tests
  • ECG (electrocardiogram)
  • Holtermonitor - a wearable device that records the heart for 1-2 days
  • echocardiogram
  • chest X-ray
  • tilt-table test
  • electrophysiologic testing (or EP studies)
  • heart catheterization


Treatment for arrhythmia is only required if the condition is putting you at risk of a more serious arrhythmia or a complication, or if the symptoms are very severe.

If bradycardia is caused by an underlying condition, that condition needs to be treated first. If no underlying problem is found, the doctor may advise implanting a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a small device that is placed under the skin of the chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms. Pacemakers use electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal minimum rate.

There are several different treatments for tachycardia:

  • Vagal manoeuvres - certain movements that you can do yourself might stop some types of arrhythmia that start above the lower half of the heart.
  • Medications - these will not cure you, but are usually effective in reducing episodes of tachycardia and can help with proper electrical conduction of the heart.
  • Cardioversion - the doctor may use an electric shock or medication to reset the heart to its regular rhythm.