Having bradycardia means that your heart beats very slowly. For most adults, a heart rate of about 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than normal.
Sometimes bradycardia is normal. For example, healthy young adults and well-trained athletes often have resting heart rates of less than 60 beats a minute.
Abnormal bradycardia is a sign of a problem with the heart's electrical system. The heart's normal pacemaker may not work correctly or the normal electrical system of the heart has been damaged. Bradycardia can be caused by many things including medicine, certain medical conditions, and changes in the heart that are the result of aging. Sometimes, the heart beats so slowly that it does not pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. This can cause symptoms, such as feeling dizzy or weak. In some cases, it can be life-threatening.
How bradycardia is treated depends on what is causing it. Examples of treatments include treating another health problem, changing a medicine, and getting a pacemaker. Treatment also depends on the symptoms. If bradycardia does not cause symptoms, it may not be treated.
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & John M. Miller MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine