Heart Palpitations

Heart Palpitations Symptoms

Some people often hear the heart beat through their ear when their head is on the pillow. These are not necessarily significant problems. However, if you are aware of an irregular heartbeat, or moreover, you have symptoms associated with this, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness or fainting, it is imperative that your symptoms are investigated urgently.

A 24 hour ECG trace showing early beats (the large spikes).

Tachy or Bradycardia?

A tachycardia occurs when the measured heart rate is greater than 120 beats/minute. A bradycardia is when the heart rate is less than 60 beats/minute. You may present with tiredness of chest discomfort rather than palpitations if the heart rate is too slow or too fast. Palpitations are often set off by anxiety and are made worse by stimulants. Reducing caffeine intake and alcohol intake may help whilst the specific diagnosis is made. Drug treatment is best avoided until a firm diagnosis is made.

Investigating Heart Palpitations at LCC?

We will take a detailed history from you and perform an examination. After the examination has been performed it is likely that the following tests may be used to define the symptoms:

  • ECG
  • 24/48 hours Holter monitor
  • Echocardiogram
  • Longer term monitoring including event recorders or implantable loop recorder for more infrequent symtoms. See ILR device for more details.
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