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Heart Rhythm Problems: Symptoms

Overview

Heart rhythm problems, called arrhythmias, can cause a few types of symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

Palpitations.

Having palpitations means that you are unusually aware of your heartbeat. Some people describe them as:

  • A "fluttering" in their chest.
  • A "skipped beat."
  • A "pounding sensation."
  • A feeling that the heart is "jumping out of my chest."
Lightheadedness.

If you have an arrhythmia that causes your heart to beat too fast or too slow, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Fainting (syncope).

Syncope (say "SING-kuh-pee") is a sudden loss of consciousness that doesn't last long. It may be the first sign that you have an arrhythmia.

Shortness of breath.

Feeling short of breath (dyspnea) often happens during arrhythmias. This symptom can be hard for people to describe. It may be referred to as:

  • Feeling short of breath.
  • Feeling tightness in the chest.
  • Being winded.
  • Feeling tired from walking.

Credits

Current as of: January 10, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
John M. Miller MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology