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Heart Block Types

Heart Block Types - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

author Dr. Anurag Sharma | calender September 14, 2019

The human heart does not derive its energy from any outlet rather it operates on an electrical system just like a lamp. An electrical signal is transmitted from the upper to the lower heart chambers every time when the heartbeats. And on its way, these signals notify the heart to contract and pump the blood.

However, when these signals decelerate or abstain from conveying the message, it leads to a condition known as heart block. This further impacts the pace and tempo of the heart, or the frequency of its beats and the pattern of those beats.

Types of Heart Block

Below-mentioned are the three types of heart block that are based on their degrees of severity:

First-degree heart block

This kind of heart block includes little disruptions in the heartbeat, such as skipped heartbeats. Since it is considered to be the minimal serious type of heart block, there is no requirement of any treatment.

Second-degree heart block

This type of heart block shows up when the electrical signals fail to reach the heart, leading to declined or missed heartbeats. In this case, the patient might experience dizziness which arouses the need for implanting a pacemaker. Since the impulse fails to reach the ventricles, their contraction also gets abandoned.

Third-degree heart block

This problem occurs when the electrical signals travelling within the chambers of the heart fail to do that. It is most frequent among patients suffering from heart diseases. However, in the absence of a pacemaker, the risk of a heart attack gets increases.

Causes of Heart block

Causes of Heart block

As mentioned above a healthy heart consists of the electrical signals that travel within the muscles of the heart, notifying them to contract or beat. These impulse travels along a track, starting from the atrioventricular (AV) node aiming towards the lower chambers. Alongside the track is a group of cardiac fibres which are known as the bundle branch block or the AV bundle. Further, this bundle breaks down into two, the left and right bundles. These bundles carry out the electrical stimulus to the ventricles of the heart. Every ventricle is associated with a branch.

Consequently, if these branch bundles get harmed then it results in unorganized contractions of the ventricles and even irregular heartbeats. Although a blockage on the heart’s right side, is generally not considered to be that serious, a blockage on the left is alarming as it puts the person at a greater risk of coronary artery disease, or any other problem related to the heart.

Symptoms of Heart block

One might experience different symptoms pertaining to the type of heart block they are suffering from. For instance, if it is a first-degree heart block, then they might not encounter any symptoms at all.

Symptoms of second-degree heart block

In case of second-degree heart block, the patient may undergo below-mentioned symptoms:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular or skipped heartbeats

Symptoms of third-degree heart block

Whereas in third-degree heart block, one needs immediate medical assistance. You can contact Dr. Anurag Sharma, the best heart specialist in Chandigarh if you encounter any of the following symptoms:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Abnormal heartbeats or new palpitations

Treatment of heart block

As a matter of fact, there is no heart-block specific treatment available. A large number of people with bundle branch block do not encounter any symptoms and also do not need any treatment. Nevertheless, any fundamental reasons, such as hypertension, requires treatment. Moreover, if a person has a left bundle branch and he encounters a heart attack, then reperfusion therapy can be given to the patient in order to recover the blood flow that flows through the blocked arteries. To perform this, an anti-clotting agent such as streptokinase is used to disperse the blood clots and amplify the blood flow towards the heart. Though these anti-clotting drugs magnify the risk of bleeding.

An unnatural pacemaker, a small, battery-powered device, can be placed under the skin of the patient suffering from fainting. During a 1-2 hour surgical procedure, this device is implanted close to the collarbone of the patient who is under local anaesthetic. However, a lot of pacemakers can be adjusted to generate electrical impulses only when the need arises. Also, there are certain pacemakers that automatically perceive if the heart stops beating, and consequently generates an electrical impulse to reboot it. The battery can persist for many years. Although pacemakers stay unaffected to the mobile phones, stereos or household appliances, one with a pacemaker must not go through any magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

When to consult the doctor?

According to Dr. Anurag Sharma, the best heart specialist in Panchkula recommends seeking medical assistance when one encounters the above-mentioned symptoms. He also professes that besides taking medications and using a pacemaker (if applied), one should not fail to keep up with the follow-up appointments just to ensure that the treatment in on the track.

Also as a word of caution coming straight from the best heart specialist in Chandigarh, if one encounters a sudden cardiac arrest then he/ she would not be in a position to seek immediate assistance. Therefore, it is very important to keep the people you meet on a regular basis, informed about what to do in an emergency.

Dr. Anurag Sharma