What does an arrhythmia feel like?

Many rhythms, such as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and (PACs), can create a sensation of heart skipping a beat, and those are not necessarily an arrhythmia. It’s best to talk to a doctor and sort through your symptoms and the appropriate testing.

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

An arrhythmia can feel like a very slow heartbeat or a very fast and irregular heartbeat. Sometimes an arrhythmia feels like a tiny flutter inside your chest. Other times this abnormal heart rhythm can feel like your heart is pounding rapidly inside of you, trying to jump out of your chest. While arrhythmias can cause anxiety and make you feel pretty frightened, it's important to get any abnormal heartbeats checked out. The arrhythmia may be nothing at all or it could be atrial fibrillation that needs immediate treatment with medications to convert the heart rate to normal, sinus rhythm. Some very serious arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation are deadly unless there is immediate action with electrical shock to recover the normal heartbeat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.