When you can suddenly feel your heart pounding or skipping a beat, you’re having palpitations. These alarming sensations may not signal a heart problem, but you should always take them seriously. If you need help for palpitations, you can depend on David Harnick, MD, and Raymonda Rastegar, MD, at Heartwise Cardiology for exceptional care. They offer convenient in-office diagnostic testing and personalized treatments that deal with the source of the problem. To schedule an appointment, call the Murray Hill or Upper East Side offices in Manhattan, New York, or use the online booking feature today.
You usually aren't aware of your own heartbeat unless you check your pulse by gently pressing your fingertips against an artery. When you have palpitations, you become aware of your heartbeat as you feel sensations of a forceful, rapid, or irregular beat.
You may feel your heart skipping a beat, experience a pounding sensation, or notice a rapid fluttering or flip-flopping in your chest. You may also feel the sensation in your neck.
Palpitations occur for many reasons that aren't related to your heart. You may have heart palpitations due to anxiety, stress, or overexertion. Conditions like a fever, infection, overactive thyroid, and dehydration can lead to palpitations, as can consuming too much nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol.
When palpitations arise as symptoms of a cardiovascular problem, they may be caused by conditions such as:
Atrial fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia that makes your heart beat rapidly and chaotically, is one of the most common causes of palpitation.
Many people have palpitations without other symptoms. However, the heart condition responsible for your palpitations may also cause:
If palpitations occur together with persistent or severe chest pain or pressure, you could be having a heart attack.
After reviewing your symptoms and completing a physical exam, your provider may perform diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your palpitations.
You may need any of the following:
You may need to wear a Holter or event monitor for a day or longer. These devices record your heartbeat, picking up arrhythmias that don't show up while you're in the office.
Your treatment depends on the underlying cause. The first line of treatment for heart conditions usually includes lifestyle changes and medications.
You may also need a minimally invasive procedure to treat the condition. For example, you may need a cardiac ablation procedure, or your provider may implant a pacemaker or defibrillator.
If you have heart palpitations, don't wait to schedule a heart examination. Call Heartwise Cardiology or book an appointment online today.