There are many types of heart arrhythmia, and they are classified according to the part of the heart it originates from and the speed of the heart rate that it causes. For example, the terms referring to the speed of heart rate are:
Tachycardia, where resting heart rate is too fast (above 100 bpm) for reasons other than exercise, high fever or stress.
Bradycardia, where resting heart rate is too slow (below 60 bpm). It could either be a sign that you are very fit. However, if it is too slow, it could indicate that your heart is not pumping enough blood for your body.
It is important to note that not all tachycardias or bradycardias indicate heart disease. At rest or while we sleep, our heartbeat is naturally slower. Conversely, during physical exercise or while we are excited, it is completely normal for our heart rate to increase.
Tachycardias in the atria
Tachycardias in the ventricles
This refers to a heart rate below 60 bpm. Generally, bradycardia does not show symptoms until the rate drops below 50 bpm.
- Sick sinus syndrome
Sick sinus syndrome refers to any arrhythmia caused by a dysfunction of the sinus node itself. The heart rate may alternate between too slow (bradycardia) and too fast (tachycardia). The likelihood of developing sick sinus syndrome increases with older age.
A premature heartbeat may feel as if your heart missed a beat, when in fact, it may be an extra beat. Generally, this does not pose a serious issue, and may occur naturally when you are resting, under stress or exercise, or if there are stimulant triggers like caffeine. However, a premature heartbeat can still trigger a lasting arrhythmia in people with heart disease. Frequent episodes of premature heartbeats may weaken the heart.