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Signs and Symptoms

Arrhythmias may not produce any symptoms. In fact, your doctor might detect them before you do during a routine exam. But often, abnormal heart rhythms cause noticeable signs and symptoms, which may include:

  • Fluttering in your chest
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or throat tightness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting or near fainting (syncope)

If you frequently experience these symptoms or have any concerns about your heart rhythm — especially if you have known heart problems — check with your doctor.

A serious heart rhythm problem can stop the heart from pumping blood. This life-threatening condition is known as cardiac arrest. (Note: Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, which is when a blockage prevents flood flow through a part of the heart.)