What is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is a heart condition in which the heart beats too quickly. It is a common problem, affecting about 1% of the population. People with tachycardia may experience racing, pounding, or even skipping heartbeats. Frequently, these episodes are brief and do not cause significant symptoms. However, in some cases, tachycardia may cause symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness.

Types of Tachycardia

Tachycardia is divided into two main types: Supraventricular and Ventricular.

  • Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT): This type of tachycardia starts in the upper chambers of the heart and causes rapid heartbeats that sometimes reach 250-300 beats per minute. SVT is usually caused by a problem in the electrical conduction system of the heart, and it may be caused by stress, fatigue, excessive caffeine intake, alcohol, or stimulant drugs.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia (VT): This type of tachycardia starts in the lower chambers of the heart and usually causes heartbeats of 120-180 beats per minute. VT can be caused by a heart attack, electrolyte abnormalities, or certain medications, and it can be more dangerous than SVT.

Treatment of Tachycardia

The treatment of tachycardia depends on the type and severity of the condition. Treatments may include medications, lifestyle changes, pacing devices, and in some cases, surgery.

  • Medications: Those with SVT may be prescribed medications that slow the heart rate or block the action of adrenalin (epinephrine) on the heart.
  • Lifestyle Changes: It is important to make changes to your lifestyle to reduce the risk of tachycardia, such as avoiding stress, managing heart health, stopping smoking, reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Pacing Devices: Implantable pacemakers help regulate the heart rate in cases where medications or lifestyle changes are not enough.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the cause of the tachycardia or to restore normal heart rate.


Tachycardia is a common heart condition, and it can range from mild and harmless to serious and life threatening. While lifestyle changes and medications are often enough to treat tachycardia, more serious cases may require pacing devices or surgery. It is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and to seek treatment if you suspect you may have tachycardia.