A chronically low heartbeat can leave you feeling dizzy – or worse.
A normal heart beats about 100,000 times a day, at a rate anywhere from 60 to 100 times a minute. At certain times, a heart rate can be lower than 60 and still be normal, such as when you are sleeping, or when a healthy athlete is at rest. But a chronic heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute in adults is called bradycardia. At this slow rate, the heart may not able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to your body during normal activity or exercise.
Bradycardia is caused by a disruption of the heart’s electrical system which directs the heartbeat.
For some people, bradycardia doesn’t cause any symptoms or complications. It is generally not serious if your doctor is aware of it and you get the treatment you need. But in some cases, recurrent fainting spells, heart failure and even cardiac arrest can occur. While a slow heart rate can affect people of all ages, older adults and those with prior heart disease are at an increased risk.
Symptoms may include:
• Shortness of breath