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Cardiac arrhythmias

Whenever the heart rhythm deviates from the regular pattern under normal conditions, it is called an arrhythmia.

Millions of people experience irregular heartbeats, called arrhythmias, at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they are harmless and happen in healthy people free of heart disease. However, some abnormal heart rhythms can be serious or even deadly. Having other types of heart disease can also increase the risk of arrhythmias. 

Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) are caused by problems with the electrical system that regulates the steady heartbeat. The heart rate may be too slow or too fast; it may stay steady or become chaotic (irregular and disorganized). Some arrhythmias are very dangerous and cause sudden cardiac death, while others may be bothersome but not life threatening.

MyDiagnostick is specifically developed to detect Atrial Fibrillation, a specific arrhythmia.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common abnormal heart rhythm. In a normal heart, the four chambers of the heart beat in a steady, rhythmic pattern. With AF, the atria (upper chambers of the heart) fibrillate (quiver or twitch quickly) and create an irregular rhythm.

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

When AF occurs, the electrical impulse does not follow the normal order. Instead of one impulse moving through the heart, many impulses begin in the atria and fight to get through the AV node.

This happens for two reasons:

• First, the structure of the heart and its electrical pathway may change over time. 
  This happens more often as we get older.

• Second, as the electrical pathway changes, one or more “triggers” may develop. 
 “Triggers” are electrical circuits that send extra impulses at a faster than usual rate.   
  These extra impulses are all trying to get through the AV node and the atria begin to fibrillate, quiver or  twitch, in a fast and disorganized way.

This irregular heart rhythm can lead to symptoms that negatively impact the quality of life in some people. Others experience no symptoms at all. AF itself is not life threatening. If left untreated, however, the side effects of AF can be life threatening, leading to stroke or heart failure. This makes identifying and treating AF so important.