Extra, early, or "skipped" beats are the most common cause of irregular heart rhythms. These can start in the upper or lower chambers of the heart (atrial or ventricular premature contractions). They may or may not cause symptoms of chest discomfort, palpitations, "fluttering", or feeling lightheaded. Often they require no treatment but if they are frequent or highly symptomatic a medical and cardiac evaluation should be undertaken.
Signs and Symptoms
- Heart palpitations (feeling like the heart is pounding)
- Pulse that is changing between fast and slow and feels irregular
- Pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort in your chest
- Pounding or jumping
- Skipped beats or missed beats
- Increased awareness of your heartbeat