Heart Block: An Overview

Heart Block: An Overview

Heart has its own electrical supply.

Sino atrial node or SA node is the main pacemaker of the heart.

It generates electric impulses at certain rate called heart rate at specific and regular  rhythm called sinus rhythm at rate usually between 60 to 90 beats

It is normal for the heart to beat fast, during certain physically challenging situations. But, it is not a normal sign for the heart to beat slowly. When the heart beats slowly, a person is said to be suffering from heart block.

Heart Block occurs when there is an abnormal rhythm in the heart. When there is a delay in the electrical signals being passed from the atrium to the ventricle, that could be because of a heart block.

Blocked Electrical Signals of Heart

A normal heartbeat is said to take place when the electrical signals  are sent from the sinoartrial node. The electrical signals pass from the atria and travels into the left and the right ventricles. A heart block takes place when there is an obstruction and interruption in the flow of the electric signals to the heart.

Heart Electrical Signals

Heart Block is a very serious problem and based on the gravity of the situation, there are different categories of heart blocks.

The various types of heart blocks are:

Heart Block Types

  1. First degree heart block: The impulses in the form of electrical signals face a sudden stoppage in the pace in which they flow through the atria. However, it eventually reaches the left and right ventricles. This is not a cause for any kind of a worry. This does happen to people who have a very high rates of physical activities. Due to the numerous movements and due to very high levels of physical pressures, the heart does get affected. This is a common factors for heart related issues among athletes and weight lifters. Apart from athletes, even the ones who take a certain formula of medicinal drugs face this problem. 
  2. Second degree heart block : This is a condition of the heart where the electrical impulses are delayed and get slower with each corresponding heartbeat; till the electrical signals completely stop reaching the right and left ventricles. There is no particular symptom for this kind of a heart block. Most of the times this kind of a heart block occurs when a person is resting or in a relaxed position. Most of the cases of second degree heart blocks in India take place when a person is sleeping. The only symptom of a second degree heart block is mild to severe dizziness. This is also known as the Type-I 
  3. Second Degree heart block (Type II)– This is a more serious type of a heart block where, a lesser amount of electrical impulse reaches the left and the right ventricles. Most of the times, the Type II category converts into type-III category. The doctors generally prescribe a pacemaker in this stage of a heart block. 
  4. Third degree heart block: This is an aggravated stage of a heart block. This is where the electrical impulses do not reach the ventricles, at all. As a result of which there is a type of impulse which is released by the atria which is called as the ventricular escape beat.
  5. Bundle Branch Block: This is a heart condition where the electrical impulses have a very reduced pace through which is follows. The electrical impulses usually flow through the specialised conducting tissues through the ventricles.

Symptoms:

The symptoms include:

  1. Convulsions
  2. Fainting
  3. Nausea 
  4. Pain in the chest
  5. Lack of stamina
  6. Breathlessness 

All types of heart blocks might result in heart attacks, heart valve surgeries and bypass surgeries.

Treatment for a Heart Block:

  1. The first treatment for a heart block is change in the lifestyle and bringing in more discipline with regard to dietary habits, reduction in obesity and appropriate amount of rest and sleep.
  2. Medication by a doctor for high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases and heart failure will result in a better condition without a blocked heart.
  3. Implanted Cardioverter defibrillator are one of the best electronic devices which help in people with a subsisting condition of a heart block. Whenever, there is a sudden low heart beat it gives shocks to control the flow of electrical impulses.
  4. Pacemakers are those devices which monitor the pace of the heart. When the electrical impulses are low, this sets the uniform and normal pace to a heart block.
  5. A surgical process is common these days and if the life of the patient is in peril, one will have to open the heart and control the heart beat and the flow of electrical impulses. 

It is important for the healthy functioning of the heart; for a life that is free from any kind of a hassle. There are numerous cases of youngsters who are affected by a heart block due to the increasing rates of tension and other physical factors and improper medicine usage. It is time to recognise the symptoms and have a better heart with a long and healthy lifeline. At Sri Sri, the dedicated doctors promise to take care of the precious hearts so that the heart beats in a rhythm.

About The Doctor:

Dr. V S Ramchandra

Dr. V S Ramchandra is an eminent Cardiologist in Hyderabad, with more than 20 years of experience in Cardiology, practising at Sri Sri Holistic Hospitals, Kukatpally. He is also a Visiting Consultant at Apollo Hospitals, Continental Hospital and Narayan Hrudayalaya. Dr. Ramchandra was Professor and head of cardiology at Kasturba Medical college , Manipal in 2005. He was later head at NH, Hyderabad. He has completed Board accredited fellowships in Interventional Cardiology at UAB, Alabama, USA, Pediatric EP at Childrens Cincinnati and fellowship in Adult EP and Pacing at Indinapolis.

He is Fellow of the American college of cardiology, European society of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography &Intervention. Despite his extensive experience in Cardiac Interventions and procedures his main interest lies in prevention of heart diseases as he believes this only can make a dent on the enormous burden of the disease in ìndia.   

About the Hospital:  

Sri Sri Holistic Hospital is a leading 100 bedded multi specialty hospital in Nizampet, Kukatpally, Hyderabad. Sri Sri Holistic Hospital provides high standards of Healthcare with a combination of Advanced Technology and state of art clinical expertise. With more than 52 Internationally Experienced Doctors and 400+ staff, we served at least 50,000 patients so far.