Sinus Arrhythmia

A sinus arrhythmia is when the heart rate changes during breathing. This type of arrhythmia is called an atrial or supraventricular arrhythmia and is generally not a cause for major concern.

It may need to be monitored but a person can usually live a complete and healthy life despite having this condition.

Understanding the medical situations that you have can be always of help, so the following will explain a bit more about the causes of sinus arrhythmia, concerns and treatments.


The word arrhythmia describes any change in regular heart beat. It can mean that the heart rate speeds up, slows down, missing a beat or starts beating irregularly. The condition occurs when a person takes a breath. Sometimes can be caused by a heart problem or heart disease, but in most cases of sinus arrhythmia, there is no underlying condition. Besides a heart problem, it can be caused by stress, and things like: caffeine, alcohol, smoking or the use of certain medications. It is also possible that a cause cannot be determined.

Many people live with arrhythmia and have no problems. They may not even be aware that they have this condition. However, any arrhythmia that is related to heart disease does need medical attention since the underlying condition can be life threatening. some people who have an arrhythmia that causes a slow heart rate may suffer symptoms, like lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting. In these people it is wise to seek medical care to prevent accidents or injuries due to the symptoms.

Arrhythmias are possible at any age, but they are most common in middle age. They become more common as a person gets older. Sinus arrhythmia is very common and most people who have this type of arrhythmia will be able to live a normal life without the need for medical intervention.


The arrhythmia usually does not require medical treatment, but for some people, it can cause anxiety, breathing issues or chest pains. If you have it and you are worried then it is best to see your physician. Your doctor will listen to your heart and may use an electrocardiogram to diagnose your arrhythmia. If the arrhythmia is not apparent during the exam then you doctor may order further testing.

One goal your doctor will have is to ensure that the arrhythmia is not related to heart disease.
Once he determines that you do not have heart disease or an underlying heart problem he will then discuss treatment options with you.

You may not need treatment for your condition. Your doctor should talk with you about your options. Sometimes medications are used to treat arrhythmia or used to treat the anxiety caused by it. Your specific course of treatment will depend on what your doctor finds during testing.

While it can seem very scary to hear that your heart is not beating regularly, it is not always a cause for concern. You may never even know that you have a sinus arrhythmia and that is fine. If it is not caused by a heart problem and it is not causing you symptoms that interfere with your daily life, then you are probably just fine and the arrhythmia will be something that you can live without the need for further medical intervention.


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