Heartbeat Irregularities

Do you feel that in your chest? Your heart is skipping a beat! Now, it may be because you’re in love, but there is a chance it could be something much more serious. Keep reading to find out what different types of arrhythmias are dangerous and which ones are not.

Does your heart rate increase when you start thinking about your lack of personal protection? End that quick pitter patter in your chest with Life Alert Protection! Simply slip on their lightweight, waterproof emergency pendant and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast. Similarly to your hardworking heart, Life Alert’s dispatch team is available 24/7 to rush in and send you the proper authorities quickly. Protect your whole body, your independence and your heart with Life Alert Protection today!

Life Alert can get you help fast when your heart feels like it’s doing the chi-chi, but you may want to look into why this is happening since irregular heartbeat conditions, like atrial fibrillation, can threaten your heart health. The experts over at Everyday Health[1] have your list of threatening and non-threatening heartbeats to be on the lookout for.

1. Atrial Fibrillation

The most common type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, affects about 2.7 million people heart beatin the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) begin to beat rapidly and irregularly. The condition itself isn’t life-threatening, but it increases the risk for stroke by allowing blood to pool and clot in the atria — increasing risk fivefold, says Hugh Calkins, MD, an electrophysiologist and director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Atrial fibrillation risk is lower before age 50 but then steadily increases with age. Blood thinners and medication to steady the heart rate and rhythm are mainstays of treatment. In some cases, a special procedure called an ablation, which purposely scars the defective part of the heart to prevent it from passing on unwanted signals, may be recommended.

2. Tachycardia

Tachycardia occurs when your heart suddenly starts beating very fast. If it happens as a result of exercise, excitement, or fever, it’s usually not a cause for concern and doesn’t need treatment. But one type of arrhythmia called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is more dangerous. It creates extra heartbeats because electrical signals that move from the heart’s upper chambers to its lower chambers tend to loop back around to the upper chambers. This condition can cause sudden cardiac arrest if it affects the heart’s lower chambers, but it’s curable through ablation. Tachycardia is most common in children and young people, and is more common in women than men.

3. Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation is the most deadly type of arrhythmia. It occurs when the lower Blausen_0465_Heartbeat_EKGchambers of the heart (the ventricles) begin to quiver instead of pumping Ventricular_fibrillationnormally. Because these chambers handle most of the heavy lifting for the circulatory system, ventricular fibrillation causes blood flow to very nearly cease. “If it’s not shocked in a timely fashion — and we’re talking minutes — then the patient will die,” says Gordon Tomaselli, MD, professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Ventricular fibrillation usually happens in people with some sort of underlying heart condition. Those at risk can be treated with medication or an implanted defibrillator that will shock the heart if it stops beating.

4. Premature Beats

Most irregular heart rhythms involve extra or skipped beats. These types of arrhythmias are harmless and usually don’t cause symptoms. People who do feel symptoms report fluttering in the chest or a feeling that their heart has skipped. Premature beats can occur in anyone, most often happen naturally, and don’t require treatment. But they also can happen as a result of heart disease, stress, over-exercising, or too much caffeine or nicotine. In those instances, you should talk with a cardiologist about your heart and any needed lifestyle changes.

5. Bradycardia

Bradycardia is a type of arrhythmia that, for many people, is no big deal. It means your heart rate is slower than normal — fewer than 60 beats a minute for adults. Young people and others who are very physically fit may experience bradycardia because they’re in good shape, and for them it isn’t dangerous and doesn’t cause symptoms. But people can also have bradycardia if they’ve had a heart attack or if an underactive thyroid gland or aging has slowed the heart. In these situations, taking medication or having a pacemaker implanted may be needed. Bradycardia can also occur because of a nutritional imbalance. If this is the cause, your doctor may recommend a dietary supplement. In addition, the condition can be a side effect of medication, and in those cases a doctor may adjust your prescription.

6. Long QT Syndrome

A number of other disorders occur because of problems with the heart’s electrical system. Long QT syndrome, a hereditary disorder that usually affects children or young adults, slows the signal that causes the ventricles to contract. Another electrical signal problem, atrial flutter, happens when a single electrical wave circulates rapidly in the atrium, causing a very fast but steady heartbeat. Heart block involves weak or improperly conducted electrical signals from the upper chambers that can’t make it to the lower chambers, causing the heart to beat too slowly. These conditions can put you at risk for cardiac arrest. Treatment might involve medication, ablation, or an implanted device to correct the misfiring, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator.

Next time you feel a little quick step in your chest you’ll be better able to tell if your life is in danger or not. If you are suspicious of having some heart trouble, be sure to see your general practitioner immediately. However, if your heart starts to race at the thought of living alone, the cure for that is simple; get Life Alert Protection’s emergency pendant! Slip on their lightweight, waterproof pendant and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon emergency help, fast! With over 25 years of saving lives with their medical alert system, you can live alone without being alone, and Life Alert is a company you can trust with all your heart. Slow your heart rate and start living your life with confidence by having Life Alert! For a free brochure on all their heart-pounding protection packages, call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. Thompson, Dennis Jr. “6 Ways Your Heart Can Get Out of Rhythm.” Everyday Health. 6 July 2016. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/atrial-fibrillation/symptoms/ways-your-heart-can-get-out-of-rhythm/ >.



How to Sleep Better

Did you know that over 20% of Americans may suffer from chronic sleep loss or untreated sleep disorders[1]? If you think getting a solid eight hours of sleep is going to cure all of your sleep woes, think again. Getting enough sleep is only half of the battle; the key to mastering the ultimate in rest is getting good sleep. So where do you start?

Start with stress. It’s no secret by now that stress is a major contributing factor to sleeplessness and restlessness.  So what are you so stressed about? Well, if you’re an aging senior, living independently, a big concern is one’s own safety, especially if you do not have any personal protection on hand. What if you encounter a home fire, home invasion or even a serious fall while grabbing your midnight snack? How will you reach help? Well, worry less and sleep with confidence thanks to Life Alert Protection! With over 25 years in the emergency medical alert industry, Life Alert has saved hundreds of thousands of users thanks to their fast acting emergency pendant. To date, they save a life from a catastrophe every 10 minutes!  Their stress free system is easy to use, simply slip the lightweight, waterproof pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant to summon an emergency medical response fast! A good nap can beckon at any time, which is why Life Alert’s dispatch team is sleep-infographicavailable 24/7! So lay your head down and rest well, because Life Alert Protection has got your back!

So now that the stress of personal safety is solved with Life Alert, Real Simple[2] has a few other tips to help you refresh your bedtime and banish those bad bed habits so you can get some good, well-rounded sleep!

Not Going to Bed on a Schedule

A person’s sleep cycle is, on average, 90 minutes. So if you plan your bedtime and wake up at a multiple of 90 minutes apart, you’ll likely wake up happier and refreshed every day.

Drawing the Curtains Before Bed

Natural light keeps your body on a natural sleep-wake cycle. If you frequently wake up feeling tired and groggy, your dark room and closed curtains might be to blame. Leave them open when you go to bed and let the sunrise wake your body up naturally to start your day on the right foot.

Not Putting Away Your Cell Phone

The time after work and before bed might be your only time to waste away on social media, watching cat videos until it’s time to go to bed and do the whole day over again. But you might find you have more energy in the morning if you can put away your screens for a few hours before bed.

Not Making the Bed When You Wake Up

Could a chore like this one really make your life better? Yes, actually. Making the bed is a keystone habit that’s correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.

Getting Out of Sync on the Weekends

There are some great ideas here for going to bed and waking up happier, but every time you sleep in on the weekend, you’re resetting the whole system. Keep up with all your new habits—the 90-minute sleep cycles and the open curtains and making the bed in the morning—for your best shot at long-term sleep success.

Your good rest may start with better bed habits, but it ends with a sense of safety and security. If you are lacking in the personal protection department, it’s no wonder you’re not sleeping well. Cure your safety woes with Life Alert’s emergency pendant. Wear their lightweight and waterproof pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast, 24/7! If you’re living independently, don’t wait to sleep on your personal protection plan, instead, get Life Alert Protection today and catch some quality z’s! For a FREE brochure on all of their exciting protection services, a guaranteed reading that won’t put you to sleep, call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. “Sleep Facts and Statistics in USA”. SleepPhones. 4 May 2016. <http://www.sleepphones.com/statistics>.
  2. Williford, Taryn. “5 Bad Bed Habits Keeping You From a Happier, Healthier Life”. Real Simple. <http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/sleep/bad-habits-in-bedroom >.