Bradycardia is a resting heart rate that’s slower than normal — usually less than 60 beats per minute. It often comes with uncomfortable symptoms.
The heart rhythm specialists at the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute can help.
Bradycardia: Why choose Henry Ford Health?
Whether it’s finding a new medication or implanting a pacemaker, we have the expertise to get your heart beating normally. We will find a solution that works for you.
What causes bradycardia?
Causes of bradycardia may include:
- Problems with your heart’s electrical circuits
- Issues with the sinoatrial (SA) node of the heart, the heart’s natural pacemaker
- Damage from heart disease or heart attack
- Certain medications, such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and antiarrhythmics
- Sleep apnea
Some people, including athletes, may have a heart rate that’s naturally low, with no symptoms or problems. If you experience symptoms, though, it’s a sign your heart rate is too slow and you need your heart evaluated.
Symptoms of bradycardia may include:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
Often, we can diagnose bradycardia with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) in our office.
If we need more information, we may use heart rhythm monitoring, which records your heart’s electrical activity for a period of time.
If you don’t experience symptoms from bradycardia, you may not need treatment. For people who do need further care, we offer two treatment options:
- Medication adjustment: If a medication you take causes bradycardia, we can make adjustments. We may change the dose of the medicine or recommend a different medication altogether.
- Pacemaker: If there’s an electrical problem with your heart, you may need a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a device we implant under your collarbone. It helps your heart maintain a healthy rhythm. Some people with bradycardia may benefit from a leadless pacemaker. This new type of pacemaker doesn’t use any wires.