Heart Block: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention
April 8, 2022
A healthy heart beats 60 to 100 times in a minute. A single heartbeat is just a contraction of the heart muscles that pumps blood to the body’s other organs. A heart block causes the heart to beat irregularly, almost stopping for 20 seconds at a time. Check out the most common heart block symptoms in this blog.
Usually, every heartbeat is created by an electrical signal that starts with the heart’s upper-right chamber. However, in the case of a partial heart block, the electrical impulse that controls the heartbeat is either delayed or blocked.
A complete heart block is when the signals come to a standstill ultimately. At this point, a heartbeat drops to as low as 40 beats per minute.
Heart Block Symptoms
- Chest pain or Angina is when someone feels a sudden pressure or tightness in the chest like someone is standing on their chest. This pain called Angina often occurs on the middle or left side of the chest. Angina is usually caused by emotional or physical stress.
- Shortness of Breath is felt when the heart is not able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
- Heart Attack is caused when the heart is completely blocked. The default symptoms include a crushing pain in the chest and shoulder or arm. Women are somewhat more likely than men to have less typical signs of a heart attack like neck or jaw pain.
Other symptoms also include:
- Feeling tired most of the time
Types and Symptoms Of Heart Block
A heart block can be present right from birth, but it primarily develops after birth. In addition, in most cases, a heart block increases with age and the incidence of heart disease. A heart block can be categorised into three types with all these points in mind.
- First-degree heart block involves minor heartbeat disruptions, such as skipped beats. Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment may or may not be required. This kind of block is common in athletes, teenagers, young adults, and those with a highly active vagus nerve.
- Second-degree heart block occurs when the atrial pulse does not reach the ventricles, causing dropped or skipped beats. In this case, the patient may feel dizzy and may need a pacemaker.
- Third-degree heart block is when electrical signals do not travel between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. This is very common in people suffering from heart disease. A pacemaker becomes essential in this condition in order to avoid a serious risk of a heart attack.
Also Read: Symptoms Of Heart Disease
Causes of a Heart Block
In a healthy heart, electrical impulses make a heart muscle contract or beat. The impulses move through the upper heart chambers, through the atrioventricular node (AV node), to the lower chambers of the heart.
Through this pathway is a bundle of fibers. These fibers are called the “bundle branch block” or the “AV bundle.” This bundle divides into the right and left branches. The bundles act as a pathway to the heart ventricles. Each ventricle has a separate branch.
Damage to even one of those branches can cause the uneven beating of a heart, leading to a heart block. A blocked signal on the right side of the heart is not usually dangerous, but a blocked signal on the left side of the heart can cause heart attacks.
Heart Attacks in Women
A heart attack in general strikes someone every 43 seconds. It is the phenomenon when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is ruptured or completely cut off.
Heart attacks as shown in movies are not that dramatic in real when it comes to that of women. Women might not even feel a single pinch of pain when they are having a massive heart attack. Most women brush away the fact that it might be the common flu or less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, or just normal ageing. Most times the symptom of a heart attack can be very subtle than what one might expect as seen or heard from others. And this at times is confusing and might lead to bigger problems in the future. Most women who have experienced heart attack describe it as an upper back pressure that feels like someone squeezing them from behind.
Also Read: Heart Healthy Diet
Prevention of Heart Block:
- Scheduling an appointment with your regular healthcare provider to learn more about your heart and if or not it is in any form of risk.
- Quitting smoke reduces your risk of getting a coronary heart disease by 50%.
- Walking 30 mins a day reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Modifying family balanced diet.
People also ask
1. What does heart blockage feel like?
A heart blockage feels like is the sudden onset of severe chest pain, with breathlessness and sweating. It isn’t actually a blockage of a heart, but the blood vessels that pump blood to the heat.
2. What are the early signs of heart blockage?
A heart blockage oftens builds over a period of time . There may be lot of early signs that indicate a possible blockage, which when ignored may lead to severe problems. Some of the early signs are,
- Chest Pain
- Coughing or Wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in Ankles, Legs, or Feet.
How do you check for a heart blockage at home?
A normal pulse is about 60 to 100 heartbeats per minute. To check your pulse place your index and middle finger of your hand on the hollow part of your inner wrist of the other arm, just below the base of the thumb. You should feel a tapping or pulse against your fingers, that is your heartbeat. Look at your watch and count the number of taps you feel in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by 6 to find your pulse for a minute.