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Heart Rhythm

The heart is a strong, muscular pump responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. Every day the heart beats about 100,000 times and pumps oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to every cell in our body.

However, there are conditions that can cause the heart to change from its normal pattern. These changes may cause the heart to pump too fast, too slowly, or erratically. When this happens, the heart can’t pump blood effectively to the lungs, brain, and other organs. When organs don’t receive enough blood, they can’t function properly and may shut down or become damaged.

An irregular heartbeat is called an arrhythmia and may be caused by several different factors. An arrhythmia can be silent and not cause any symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Palpitations or a feeling of skipped heartbeats, a feeling that your heart is fluttering, “flip- flopping,” or “running away”
  • Pounding in your chest
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest discomfort
  • Weakness or fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Your doctor will decide if an electrophysiology study is needed to help determine the cause of your symptoms.

What is an electrophysiology study?

An electrophysiology study is a test that records the electrical activity and the electrical pathways of your heart. Doctors use electrophysiology studies to determine the cause of abnormal heart rhythms and to decide the best treatment for these conditions. Treatment depends on the type or seriousness of the arrhythmia. Some people require no treatment. For others, treatments may include medication, undergoing a surgical or less invasive procedure, and/or making lifestyle changes.

Advanced services are readily available

At Norwalk Hospital and across Western Connecticut Health Network, we have a premier, nationally recognized cardiovascular program with advanced services to help diagnose and treat heart rhythm disorders. Our physicians are specially trained with advanced equipment to record, diagnose, and treat rhythm disorders, including those caused by heart valve defects.

Many of our physicians have been recognized for their outstanding achievements treating complex and high-risk patients. Countless individuals are living longer, healthier, and happier lives because of the advanced cardiovascular care they receive at our hospitals.



Feeling Well: Heart Health