Arrhythmias Specialist

Advanced Cardiac Care PLLC

Michael Avaricio, MD

Cardiologist located in Ozone Park, NY

When you have an untreated heart arrhythmia, you have a higher risk of developing serious complications like heart failure or stroke. At Advanced Cardiac Care PLLC, Michael Avaricio, MD, has extensive experience treating all types of arrhythmias and conveniently offers the diagnostic tests you need in the office in the Ozone Park area of Queens, New York. To schedule an appointment, call the practice or use the online booking feature.

Arrhythmias Q & A

What is an arrhythmia?

An arrhythmia occurs when your heartbeat goes slower or faster than normal or starts to beat irregularly. Your heart has its own electrical system, including a pacemaker called the sinoatrial node, that initiates the electrical impulses needed to make your heart muscles contract. 

Every time the sinoatrial node fires, the electric signal travels through your heart, making each muscle contract in the exact order needed to move blood through the heart.
You develop an arrhythmia when the electrical system malfunctions, which can happen when:

  • The sinoatrial node doesn’t fire at a regular pace
  • Electric signals in the heart are blocked or delayed
  • Another area of the heart takes over as a pacemaker
  • Heart arrhythmias can develop due to stress, smoking, and overuse of alcohol or nicotine.

You’re also at a higher risk if you have high blood pressure, thyroid disease, or coronary heart disease.

 

What symptoms develop due to arrhythmia?

There are several types of arrhythmias that can cause the following range of symptoms, depending on which type you have: 

  • Fluttering sensation
  • Pounding or racing heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Fainting

You may also feel a slow heartbeat or notice when it skips a beat. Many patients, however, don’t have obvious symptoms.

 

How are heart arrhythmias diagnosed?

After talking about your symptoms, reviewing your medical history, and finishing a physical exam, Dr. Avaricio may perform diagnostic testing such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG), to measure the heart’s electrical activity
  • Echocardiogram, to reveal your heart’s structure and blood flow
  • Electrophysiologic study, to record and map the movement of electrical signals in your heart
  • Stress test, to determine if exercise contributes to your arrhythmia
  • Holter monitor, to record your heart’s rate and rhythm over 24 hours or more

With this information, Dr. Avaricio can make a diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.

 

How are heart arrhythmias treated?

Treatment for an arrhythmia is always individualized but often includes lifestyle changes and medications. You can improve your heart’s overall health by losing weight, following a healthy diet, and stopping smoking (if needed).

Dr. Avaricio may prescribe medications to slow down, speed up, or help stabilize your heartbeat. You may also need to take a blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots. 

Conservative therapies don’t always improve an arrhythmia, however, and then you may need a procedure or device to stabilize your heart rhythm such as:

  • Cardioversion
  • Catheter ablation
  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator

If you experience arrhythmia symptoms, call Advanced Cardiac Care or schedule an appointment online.