An irregular heartbeat can be a scary feeling; however, not all heart palpitations are cause for extensive concern. Heart palpitations can be described as the feeling of a rapid heart beating, fluttering or pounding compared to the typical beating of the heart. While most cases of heart palpitations are relatively harmless, some instances of irregular heartbeat, or heart arrhythmia, require treatment.
Heart palpitations symptoms are fairly common and can be described fairly easily. Common heart palpitations symptoms include the feeling that the heart has skipped a beat or several beats, the heart is fluttering, the speed of beating is too fast, or the heart is beating harder than usual. Individuals often experience palpitations in the throat or neck as well as the heart. If palpitations are accompanied by chest discomfort or pain, fainting, severe shortness of breath or dizziness, immediate medical attention is required as these may be signs of a more serious health concern.
The exact cause of an individual’s heart palpitations is often difficult to identify; however, several common causes have been defined. Stress or anxiety, strenuous exercise, excessive caffeine, nicotine and fever are all known causes of heart palpitations. Likewise, hormonal changes such as those associated with menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, certain cold and cough medications and some asthma inhaler medications may also cause differences in heart beats.