Heart blockage is a problem that occurs when there is an abnormal heart rhythm. In this condition, the heart beats way too slow as compared to a normal beating rhythm, the heartbeat is driven with an electrical signal that comes from the sinoatrial node, located at the top of the right atrium. The signal travels through the atria and reaches the atrioventricular node, which tells the heart to contract and pump blood. Heart block occurs when this electrical signal is delayed or interrupted. It is also known as the atrioventricular block (AV block).
Types of Heart Blockage
There are three major types of heart blockage:
First-degree heart block:
It is the least severe type of block, as in this situation the electrical signals slow down as they move from atria to ventricles.
Second-degree heart block:
In this type of condition, the electrical impulses are delayed until a beat fails to reach the ventricles. There are two types of second-degree heart block: Mobitz type I, where, the electrical signals get slower and slower between each beat and eventually the heart drops a beat. Mobitz type II is another type of second-degree heart block where there is no fixed pattern of the electrical signals reaching the ventricles from atria.
Third-degree heart block:
It is considered as the most severe degree of heart block. The electrical signals never make its way from the atria to ventricles. This triggers ventricular escape beats, which are backup beats. However, these beats are typically slow in nature, hence, can be fatal if untreated.
Some people are born with heart block, while others develop it at a later stage. If the former is the case then it is known as congenital heart block. There are different reasons for that which includes an autoimmune disease that passes from mother to the child or a birth defect; in this case the heart may not have developed correctly in the womb.
People who are prone to heart block at a later stage, it is known as acquired heart block. This can be caused due to various reasons including certain changes in the genes, damage from a heart attack, muscle disorders, certain surgery that affect the heart’s electrical system or some medicines.
If a person has a heart block problem, then they may experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Palpitations or slow or irregular heartbeats
- Chest pain
- Cardiac arrest
- Severe tiredness
If you experience the above-mentioned symptoms for the heart block, it is highly recommended that you go for the heart blockage treatment . Once you visit a cardiologist, the doctor will ask for some general information. The doctor will first review your complete medical history and will then ask questions regarding your diet, activity level and overall health. The cardiologist will also ask you if you are on any medications (prescription or over the counter) or if you are a regular smoker. The doctor will then recommend some common diagnostic tests including:
Electrocardiogram (ECG): This test is basically performed to record the electrical activity of the heart. The test shows the speed and rhythm of the heart and it is usually used to determine arrhythmias, heart attack, angina attack and heart block.
Echocardiogram: This test is used to check the working and structure of the heart using ultrasound. The test uses sound waves that create a moving picture of the heart on the monitor. This helps the doctor to check the heart muscles are contracting normally.
Holter Monitoring: If the heart rhythm is not properly detected during an ECG exam, doctors perform Holter monitoring. In this, a portable device, which is generally of an action-camera size and has wires with silver dotted electrodes. The patient needs to wear the Holter monitor to record a continuous ECG, while he/she performs his/her daily tasks. The test lasts for at least 24 to 72 hours.
The treatment of the heart blockage depends upon the condition of the patient, If a patient is suffering from first-degree of heart block, it does not require treatment. In the case of second-degree heart block, if the symptoms are prominent then the patient may require a pacemaker. The same is the case with Mobitz Type II. However, in case of a third-degree heart block, a pacemaker is highly required. The pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator also known as ICD are portable devices that a cardiologist places under the skin of the patients chest or under the muscle. The pacemaker monitors and sends electrical signals to stimulate the heart to beat a specific rate. The pacemaker becomes active is the heartbeat slows below a predefined level.
Max Institute of Cardiac Sciences provides unrivalled heart blockage treatment in India. Max Healthcare is ranked as the top cardiology hospital that offers a wide range of treatments pacemaker surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, Heart Valve Repair or Replacement and percutaneous coronary intervention and heart transplant. If you are looking for a heart blockage treatment in Delhi NCR region then you can visit at Max Healthcare Saket, Patparganj, Shalimar, Vaishali and Saket centres.