Sick sinus syndrome may be an unknown term to many people. But for those with this condition, it’s a term that is all too familiar. It’s a disease or a dysfunction of the sinus node. This condition emits a series of heart rhythm problems, or arrhythmia, subsequently resulting in the dysfunction.
What is a sinus node?
The sinus node can be found in the upper right cavity of the heart, where specialized cells control the heart’s rhythm. Usually the sinus node operates at a steady pace, producing the normal electrical impulses.
When a person suffers from sick sinus syndrome, it means that the sinus node is operating at an abnormal pace. The person may experience faster heart rhythms, or slower and more disrupted ones followed by extended pauses. It could also be a combination of fast, slow, and disrupted heart rhythms.
For those individuals with sick sinus syndrome condition, a pacemaker may need to be installed to manage the regularity of the heart’s rhythm.
There are a few symptoms associated with sick sinus syndrome. Some people show no signs of the condition at all. In rare cases, people may have symptoms that actually fluctuate. However, the most common symptoms include:
- Irregular pulse
- Faint feeling
- Pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Faster than normal heart palpitations
Many of these symptoms result from reduced blood flow to the brain. This is especially true when the heartbeat is too fast or too slow.
Sick sinus syndrome will typically develop slowly. It can affect individuals of all ages, but more in individuals who are about 70 years of age or older. You may experience mild symptoms and not be able to identify the reason for them. As a result, the diagnosis for sick sinus syndrome may not be established until a more advanced phase of the disease.
Schedule Your Appointment with an ENT Specialist Boynton Beach
You should schedule a doctor’s visit when you experience any of these symptoms – but especially if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, or heart palpitations. Your doctor will be able to identify whether you have sick sinus syndrome, or a condition with similar symptoms.
It is important to contact your doctor or ENT specialist Boynton Beach if you notice any of the symptoms associated with sick sinus syndrome. It is best to get a proper diagnosis in the early stages of any disease or disorder, to get the best handle on how to control it and resume the normal activities of your day-to-day life.