Heart Block

This abnormal heart rhythm comes in degrees.

Heart block is a type of arrhythmia – an irregularity of your heart’s rate and rhythm – that may cause your heart to beat too slowly. Electrical signals that initiate pumping may be partially or totally blocked at different locations between the upper (atria) and lower (ventricle) chambers. While heart block can be genetic, it is more commonly caused by heart damage from a heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart failure or other heart disorders.

Your doctor will often diagnose heart block with an electrocardiogram (EKG) or a heart rhythm monitor.

Heart block comes in various degrees. Early heart block rarely causes symptoms or problems as your heart’s electrical signals are only slowed. Advanced heart block may cause dizziness or fainting fatigue and may be fatal. Implantation of a pacemaker, which prompts the heart to beat normally, is recommended in advanced heart block.

Symptoms may include:
• Chest pain
• Dizziness
• Fainting
• Fatigue
• Shortness of breath

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