A heart flutter is a term used to describe the odd “fluttering” sensation you feel in your chest when your heart skips a beat, pauses, or beats faster or slower than usual. Faisal Siddiqi, MD is a board-certified cardiologist at One Oak Medical who specializes in finding the cause of your heart flutter. Dr. Siddiqi treats patients of all ages at locations in Paramus and Wayne, New Jersey for heart flutters and other types of irregular heartbeats. Schedule a consultation online or by phone.
The feeling of your heart fluttering, or palpitations, is the result of your heart beating out of its normal rhythm. For many, this is a temporary “glitch” that fixes itself. For others, it’s a severe form of arrhythmia that may need medical attention.
Common potential causes of heart flutter include:
In some cases, heart flutter may occur when your sinus node – your heart’s natural pacemaker – sends imperfectly timed electrical signals to the chambers in your heart. Usually, your sinus node keeps your heart beating in perfect rhythm.
If there’s a problem with the sinus node, it could send signals too quickly or too slowly, causing your upper heart chambers (atria) to become out of sync with the lower chambers (ventricles). When the atria beat too fast, this particular type of arrhythmia is called atrial flutter.
If you feel a flutter in your chest now and then, it’s probably nothing to worry about. However, if you regularly experience signs of heart flutter that feel like your heart is beating too quickly, or out of sync, it could be a sign of atrial flutter. Atrial flutter is similar to atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia.
With atrial flutter, the upper two chambers of your heart (the atria) beat too quickly, but in a more organized way than they do in atrial fibrillation. You may not experience any symptoms at all.
But because atrial flutter can put you at a higher risk for stroke, heart failure, or other health complications, it’s a good idea to seek the expertise of a cardiologist like Dr. Siddiqi so that he can help you effectively manage this heart condition.
Dr. Siddiqi may perform diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause of your heart flutter, or the severity of it. These tests may include:
If you experience palpitations often, or if you have a history of heart conditions and notice your heart fluttering, call the office to schedule an appointment or use the online system.