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Noticed heart beating faster, harder and irregular. Feeling discomfort and also breathing difficult. What can be done?

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Practicing since : 1966
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A few hours ago, my heart started to beat really strange. It is beating harder, faster and the beat is irregular. It feels very uncomfortable to feel your own heartbeat, and some beats pump harder than others. This started last night at 9pm and it continued overnight. it is 8:30am in the morning. This also makes breathing a bit more strained.

Prior to this I did not feel this discomfort. It came suddenly.

Posted Fri, 2 Aug 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Anantharamakrishnan 1 hour later
Hi friend,
Welcome to Health Care Magic

You are probably having Atrial fibrillation...
You should GO TO ER – CALL 911 – EMERGENCY

Irregular heart beats need to be DOCUMENTED by ElectroCardioGram (EKG).
     Depending on the nature of arrhythmia and the general condition, immediate treatment is medicine or electrical shock (cardioversion) to revert...
Further treatment and follow up investigations will be necessary...
     Standard ECG records the electrical activity of the heart, for a few seconds. It can detect the arrhythmia occurring during that time only. If the episode occurs randomly, one needs Holter or event monitor.
     Considering your age, abnormal nerve paths in the heart (bypass tracts) / conduction system may be responsible! Anaemia / Anxiety / Alcohol / Tobacco (smoking) / Caffeine (too much tea, coffee, cola) / Fever / Infection / Pain / Stress / Thyroid / Medicines like Phenylephrine used for ‘cold’; Salbutamol used for asthma and so on - may also be responsible, in some persons...

Take care
Wishing speedy recovery
God bless
Good luck
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