What is a tachycardia?
Tachycardia is the medical term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute. There are many heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) that can cause tachycardia.
Sometimes, it's normal for you to have a fast heartbeat. For instance, it's normal for your heart rate to rise during exercise or as a response to stress, trauma or illness.
But in tachycardia the heart beats faster than normal due to conditions unrelated to normal physiological stress. It can indicate diseases of the cardiovascular system, as well as other organs or systems.
In some cases, tachycardia may cause no symptoms or complications. But if left untreated, tachycardia can disrupt normal heart function and lead to serious complications, including heart failure, stroke, sudden cardiac arrest or death.
Treatments, such as drugs, medical procedures or surgery, may help control a rapid heartbeat or manage other conditions contributing to tachycardia.
Common types of tachycardia include:
- Atrial fibrillation.
- Atrial flutter.
- Supraventricular tachycardia.
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular fibrillation.
Following tachycardia-related signs and symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid pulse rate
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
Some people with tachycardia have no symptoms, and the condition is only discovered during a physical examination or with a heart-monitoring test called an electrocardiogram.