Restoring a normal heart rhythm: the pros and cons
In , the rhythm of the heart is irregular and the heart usually beats faster than normal. The high pulse can be reduced with medication if necessary. There are also treatments that aim to restore and maintain a normal heart rhythm. These are suitable for people who have severe symptoms, for instance.
There are two different approaches to treating the symptoms of :
- Reducing the heart rate (heart rate control)
- Resetting the rhythm of the heart (cardioversion)
Heart rate control treatments aim to reduce the high pulse using medication. They do not try to restore a normal heart rhythm (sinus rhythm). Heart rate control treatment is sometimes enough to manage the symptoms.
The aim of cardioversion is to restore the normal ("sinus") heart rhythm. But a restored heart rhythm may become irregular again afterwards. The risk of this happening can be reduced with medication or a certain procedure.
Each of these treatment approaches has its pros and cons. So it's worth carefully considering them together with your doctor. The most suitable treatment approach to start with will depend on various factors. These include the severity of the symptoms, whether the person has other medical problems too, their age, whether they have had before, and for how long. Their personal preferences will play a role too.