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New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

What Is Sinus Tachycardia?

If you are experiencing rapid heart rate or other symptoms that indicate breathing or blood circulation problems, contact Dr. Steven Reisman at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center to have your condition properly diagnosed. Persistently fast heart rate may signify some unidentified medical issue and lead to abnormal heart function or serious complications that must be treated carefully. With his advanced training and years of experience, Dr. Reisman offers exceptional and individualized support and guidance for treating and managing heart-related problems.

What Is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is the medical term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute or a heart rhythm issue when the heart beats too quickly. Heart rates vary from individual to individual, but between 60 and 100 beats is considered normal for most adults. Tachycardia is a severe condition as during elevated rates, the heart cannot pump oxygen-filled blood to the body efficiently. Many heart rhythm disorders can cause tachycardia.

Types of Tachycardia

There are different types of tachycardia. They are grouped according to the part of the heart responsible for the fast heart rate and cause of abnormally high heartbeat.

Read more: When to worry about the fast heart rate?

What Is Sinus Tachycardia?

Symptoms of Tachycardia
Sinus tachycardia is a rapid but steady increase in heart rate where the heart’s natural pacemaker’s sinoatrial node sends electrical signals quicker. It is the physiologically increased heart rate that results from the electrical impulses fired by the heart’s natural pacemaker.

Usually, sinus tachycardia occurs in response to specific factors, such as stress, exercise, or fever, or the use of certain substances. Sinus tachycardia is not heart disease, but if the causes are not detected and are not treated timely, it can affect normal heart function.

It is different from inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST), a condition that has no known cause. People suffering from IST may have an increased heart rate all of the time, even when they are resting.

Other common types of tachycardia include:

  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) – starts in the upper chambers of the heart.
  • Ventricular tachycardia occurs in the heart’s lower chambers ventricles and can turn serious if not addressed timely.

Symptoms of Sinus Tachycardia

When the heart beats faster than regular, it fails to pump the blood effectively to the rest of the body. It can deprive your organs and tissues of oxygen and cause various problems.

Regardless of the type of tachycardia you have, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid pulse rate
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Changes in blood pressure

In extreme cases, you may become unconscious or even go into cardiac arrest. There are times when you may not experience any symptoms, even if your heartbeat is extremely fast, which can be dangerous.

What Causes Sinus Tachycardia?

Common causes of sinus tachycardia include something that increases the rate at which the heart is beating.

Sinus tachycardia can result as a response to a variety of conditions that include:

  • Fever;
  • Anxiety;
  • Severe emotional distress;
  • Strenuous exercise;
  • Fear;
  • Use of certain medications;
  • Stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine;
  • Recreation drugs such as cocaine.

Sinus tachycardia can also be a sign of some underlying medical conditions. They include:

  • Increased thyroid activity
  • Anemia
  • Damage to the heart muscle due to a heart attack
  • Severe bleeding

There are many other conditions too that can cause rapid heart rate and tachycardia symptoms. It is important to consult a highly experienced and trained heart doctor to get your condition accurately diagnosed and suitably addressed.

How Is Sinus Tachycardia Diagnosed?

The cardiologist will diagnose sinus tachycardia by going through your medical history, performing a physical examination, and carrying out other medical tests, including blood tests, thyroid function tests, and urinalysis. An electrocardiogram (ECG) can measure the electrical activity of your heart and identify sinus tachycardia or other underlying issues.

In certain situations, the doctor may ask you to use a medical device or a monitor for at least 24 hours to know more about the possible causes of heart rhythm before recommending any treatment. Let the best cardiologist in Manhattan identify your heart problems most comprehensively using advanced diagnostic equipment and medical tests.

How to Treat Sinus Tachycardia

Sinus tachycardia that results from a known trigger or condition is not a cause for concern and does not require medical attention. However, persistently elevated heart rate is not a good sign, and you must schedule an appointment with a heart specialist to get your heart rhythm checked for any underlying issues.

Your doctor will recommend treatment depending on your test results and heart rates.

Treatment options may include:

  • Lifestyle changes like easing stress
  • Taking medications to reduce fever
  • Restricting the intake of caffeine or alcohol
  • Dealing with anxiety and fear

The heart specialist may also suggest medications to reset the heart’s electrical signals that lead to sinus tachycardia. Treating sinus tachycardia naturally with lifestyle changes and medications to manage your circumstances is the best way to prevent its long-term damage to the heart.

Sinus tachycardia is not a life-threatening problem and can be expected during strenuous exercise or after being startled. If you frequently experience increased heart rate and other symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice. Visit New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center to get the best solutions that keep this condition from adversely affecting your life, work, and overall health and wellbeing. Dr. Reisman, a leading cardiovascular specialist, focuses on your long-term health and comes up with the most effective treatment options for heart care with his top-rated expertise.

Dr. Steven Reisman | Cardiologist in New York City

Dr. Steven Reisman is an internationally recognized cardiologist and heart specialist. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and a founding member of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Dr. Reisman has presented original research findings for the early detection of "high risk" heart disease and severe coronary artery disease at the annual meetings of both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Dr. Reisman was part of a group of doctors with the Food and Drug Administration who evaluated the dipyridamole thallium testing technique before the FDA approved it.

Dr. Steven Reisman's academic appointments include Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California and Assistant Professor at SUNY. Hospital appointments include the Director of Nuclear Cardiology at the Long Island College Hospital.

This page was published on Oct 11, 2021, modified on May 26, 2022 by Dr. Reisman (Cardiologist) of New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

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