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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Abnormal heart beats

 gemini1978 - Sun Mar 20, 2005 3:48 pm

I am not sure what is conceidered "abnormal heart beats". I notice that When I am not active, my heart sometimes beats slow, then fast for no reason. Especially when I breathing in, my heart beats faster, then I breath out, its slower. Is that something I should be concerned about?
Also, I don't think that it is related, but the past few week I have noticed a wooshing/heart beat in my right ear

I do have Mitral Valve Prolapse
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:56 am

User avatar Dear Gemini1978,

Palpitations is the sensation of feeling of one's heart beats.

Normally we do not feel our hearts beating because they beat in a regular fashion (rhythm and rate) and we are accustomed to the strength of the beat so it does not disturb us.

If there is a change in the strength or any irregularity of the heart rhythm or change in the heart rate (whether racing or slowing), then we will start feeling our heart beating.

A normal heart rate is 60-100. Slower than 60 and higher than 100 is considered abnormal rate. One's heart rate is not constant all the time. If you check your pulse and you find it is 72/minute, this does not mean that it has to be 72 when you check it in another half an hour or the next minute for that matter. As long as it is within the normal range, there should be no problem. Heart rhythm is regular (not sharply regular but regular), if the rhythm becomes obviously irregular, this considered abnormal rhythm.

During respiration, there is a slight change in the rhythm of the heart (becomes slightly irregular) that is hardly noticeable by feeling the pulse. If a person takes a deep breath and holds it, heart rate becomes slower and the heart beats stronger but again it is till regular and it is not going to be felt unless the pulse is checked.

When you say faster and slower, what is your original heart rate? How fast does your heart rate become and when it slows, does it go back to its original rate or even slower than that?

One of the major vessels that come out of the heart and supply the brain run along the throat very close to the ears, so sometimes when a person is going to sleep and when it is quiet, the pulsation of this big vessel can be heard in the ear. If the whooshing is not regular and related to the pulse then this is ringing in the ears and not related to heart beats in any way.

If you are always checking your pulse to see whether it is regular or not, fast or not, slow or not, you are going to end up feelings things that might not be important and need not all the attention given to them. Palpitation means that you feel your heart beats inside the chest without checking the pulse.

In your case, mitral valve prolapse is a very well known cause for palpitations and atypical chest pain. If this was not already done, i would also suggest that you have some blood work done to make sure that nothing else is missed. A blood test for electrolytes and a thyroid function blood test is a good start.

Stop smoking, drinking alcholic beverages and too much caffeinated beverages, have more rest and enough sleep, try not to stress yourself and stop checking your pulse all the time for minor changes. If you feel that palpitations especially after heavy meals, i would suggest that you try to have smaller more frequent meals. These measures would help a lot with the feeling of palpitation. If after all these measures and with normal blood tests, you still have bothersome palpitations, i would recommend that you discuss the possibilty of taking a medication that would care of this problem.

Thank you very much for using our website and hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 gemini1978 - Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:39 pm

Your insite has been a tremendous help!

To answer your question about the "whooshing" sound in my ear. I have just noticed this in the past few weeks. I can hear it even durring the day. It seem to be throughout the day that I hear it. For example, when I am at home laying on my couch and I get up, I hear it, or after moving around, I hear it as well. I have been having a few problems with my alergies, I thought that could have something to do with that? At times it feels as if I were upside down. The feeling you get when the blood rushes to your head. Its not that extream. At those time is when the sound is more noticeable.

Anyway, thank you so much for your time! Have a great day!


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