How Concerned Should I Be If I Have Ventricular Tachycardia?

Ventricular tachycardia is certainly not something to scoff at. While in a lot of cases this heart condition only lasts for a few seconds, it can last for longer or recur, which can result in catastrophic complications.

Our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah team provides more helpful information on ventricular tachycardia below, so keep reading!

What Is Ventricular Tachycardia?

Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a type of irregular cardiac rhythm that develops when the heart’s lower two chambers (the ventricles) do not beat properly and do not supply enough oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. VT might last a few seconds and cause no difficulties, or—as we said earlier—it can recur or be sustained and put you at risk for heart failure and other serious complications.

The most prevalent VT symptoms are listed here.

Common Ventricular Tachycardia Symptoms

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

When Should I Be Concerned About Ventricular Tachycardia?

Truthfully, you should be fairly concerned if you are diagnosed with it. Only around 90,000 Americans are diagnosed with this heart issue each year, but the good news is that it’s treatable. Plus, a lot of bouts of VT last for less than 30 seconds (non-sustained VT), which won’t usually cause any real damage.

VT that lasts longer than 30 seconds (sustained VT), though, can cause serious symptoms like fainting, loss of consciousness and even cardiac arrest. If you’ve been diagnosed with VT and aren’t sure what your treatment options are, we’ve listed the most common ones your doctor will probably recommend below.

Most Common VT Treatments

  • Radiofrequency ablation. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to destroy the cells that cause ventricular tachycardia. Although effective, it’s not quite as effective among people who have already-existing heart damage.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). This is an implanted device that provides an electrical pulse to the heart that helps to reset a dangerously irregular heartbeat.
  • Medication. Medications such as sotolol, flecainide and propafenone can all help to prevent arrhythmic heart issues.

Do you have further questions about VT but don’t know where to turn? We’re here for you! Don’t hesitate to give us a call or visit our AFC center today.