Heart Block: Causes & Symptoms


You can spot heart block by its symptoms. These include feeling dizzy or tired, and heart fluttering. It’s important to act fast if you notice these signs.

Many things can cause heart block. This includes heart problems, some drugs, and even family history. Knowing the causes helps in managing and treating heart block.

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Heart block can be from minor to very dangerous. But knowing about it can really help improve patient care.

Understanding Heart Block

Heart block happens when the heart’s electric signals have problems. This affects how the heart beats well. To get what what is a heart block means, you need to know how the heart’s electric paths work. They make sure the heart beats right to pump blood well.

Signals in the heart can face roadblocks, leading to heart block. Because of these blockages, the heart might beat too slow, too fast, or not in sync. This can mess with how the heart works and show in many ways, needing heart block treatment.

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The trouble often starts with parts like the SA (sinoatrial) node, the AV (atrioventricular) node, and the bundle of His. They are key in sending signals at the right time. If something goes wrong here, the heart can’t beat as it should. This is why people with heart block might feel tired, dizzy, or have heart problems sometimes.

Thanks to treatments getting better, handling heart block is better now. Knowing what kind of heart block someone has helps the doctor pick the right way to treat it. This can be with drugs or a pacemaker. Each way to treat heart block tries to make the heart beat normally again. It can also help with the symptoms, making people feel better.

Here’s a quick look at what each heart part does and how heart block changes that:

Node/Pathway Function Impact of Heart Block
Sinoatrial (SA) Node Starts the heartbeat Heart beats slow or not smoothly
Atrioventricular (AV) Node Holds back the signals before they reach the ventricles Problems in delaying signals cause heart block
Bundle of His Sends signals to the ventricles If signals can’t get through, beats can be blocked

Knowing what is a heart block and how it works helps us see why fast, right heart block treatment is so key. This helps keep the heart working well.

What is a Heart Block

Heart block, also called atrioventricular (AV) block, messes up the heart’s electrical system. Our heart uses electric signals for a steady beat. But if these signals get mixed up, the heart can’t pump blood well.

To get what a heart block is, look at how the heart’s electricity works. Signals start in the right atrium at the SA node. They move to the AV node and then the ventricles. This path makes sure the heart’s parts work together. But if the signals don’t pass well, we get a heart block.

Heart block can happen in different levels, which are key for heart block diagnosis:

  • First-degree heart block: Signals slow but still get to the ventricles. This kind is hard to spot without a check-up.
  • Second-degree heart block: Some signals don’t make it, so you might skip a beat. It comes in Type I and Type II, which can be worse.
  • Third-degree (complete) heart block: No signals get through, so the heart parts beat on their own. This needs quick medical care.

Diagnosing heart block right is key for the best care. Doctors use tests to know what type and how bad it is. Learning about what is a heart block and its types helps catch it early and treat it right.

Heart Block Type Characteristics Symptoms
First-degree Slowed electrical signals Often asymptomatic
Second-degree Intermittent signal failure Skipped heartbeats
Third-degree Complete signal block Independent atrial and ventricular beats; severe symptoms

Causes of Heart Block

Heart Block: Causes & Symptoms It’s important to know what causes heart block. It can be because of heart diseases, some medicines, and genes. We will look closely at these reasons.

Heart Conditions

Problems like coronary artery disease and cardiomyopathy can lead to heart block. These can mess up the way electricity moves through the heart. This can cause first, second, or third degree heart block.


Some medicines can also cause heart block. Meds for high blood pressure and certain heart issues may be a problem. They include beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers. These can start with first degree block and get worse over time.


Genes are a big part too. If heart block runs in your family, you might be at risk. This can show up as first, second, or third degree heart block.

Common Symptoms of Heart Block

Heart block makes the heart’s rhythm off. It causes signs that mess up your day. Knowing these heart block symptoms is key to quick treatment.


Tired all the time is a main sign of heart block. Because the heart doesn’t pump well, the body lacks enough oxygen. Thus, causing fatigue, even after just light work.

Dizziness or Fainting

Feeling dizzy or fainting is common with heart block. It happens when the heart’s rhythm fails, lowering blood pressure suddenly. This affects the brain’s blood flow, leading to dizziness or passing out.


The feeling of a fast or strong heartbeat often happens with heart block. It’s not just uncomfortable but also a sign that the heart’s rhythm is off. This happens because the heart’s electrical signals are not flowing smoothly.

Symptom Description
Fatigue Persistent tiredness resulting from the heart’s reduced efficiency in pumping blood.
Dizziness or Fainting Sudden drops in blood pressure causing lightheadedness or brief losses of consciousness.
Palpitations Sensation of a racing or pounding heart due to irregular heartbeats.

Types of Heart Block

Heart block types are ranked by how bad they are and where they start in the heart. Knowing the differences helps doctors find the right treatment. There are first, second, and third degree types.

First Degree Heart Block

First degree heart block is the least serious. Signals are slow but still reach the ventricles. It often has no symptoms and shows up on tests. People with this usually just need to be watched.

Second Degree Heart Block

Second degree heart block is riskier. It has two types: Mobitz I and Mobitz II. Mobitz I makes the signal slower until a beat is missed. Mobitz II can be more dangerous, not letting some signals through. Treatments might be medicines or a pacemaker.

Third Degree Heart Block

Third degree heart block is the worst, fully blocking signals to the ventricles. This slows the heart a lot and can cause fainting or heart failure. Quick action with a pacemaker is often needed.

Heart Block Type Severity Characteristics Typical Treatment
First Degree Mild Delayed Signal Monitoring
Second Degree (Mobitz I) Moderate Progressive delay until missed beat Possible medication
Second Degree (Mobitz II) Moderate to Severe Intermittent missed beats without pattern Medications or Pacemaker
Third Degree Severe Complete signal block Pacemaker

Diagnosis of Heart Block

Finding out if someone has a heart block is key for good care. Doctors use many tools to check the heart’s electric work. They look for any problems that might be a signal of heart block.

Electrocardiogram (EKG)

The first step in checking for a heart block is often an EKG. This test shows how your heart’s electricity moves. It can tell if there are any slow or blocked signals in your heart.

Holter Monitor

If the heart block comes and goes, a Holter Monitor might be needed. You wear it for up to two days. It watches your heart’s electricity when you’re moving around. This helps find any issues a short EKG might miss.


An Echo uses soundwaves to make heart images. It shows the heart’s shape and how well it pumps. Sometimes, it might give clues about heart block by showing how the heart looks.

Diagnostic Tool Purpose Duration
Electrocardiogram (EKG) Records electrical signals of the heart Instantaneous
Holter Monitor Continuous recording of heart’s electrical activity 24-48 hours
Echocardiogram Produces images of the heart using ultrasound Varies by test complexity

Treatment Options for Heart Block

Heart Block: Causes & Symptoms Treating heart block differs by each person’s needs. It includes medicine and lifestyle changes. The goal is to make the heart work better and improve life quality.


Medicines are key in heart block treatment. Beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and antiarrhythmics are common. They help keep the heart’s rhythm right. It’s important to work with doctors to pick the best medicines for you.


Implanting a pacemaker is a common step in severe heart block. This device sends small electrical signals to keep the heart beating correctly. Places like the Acibadem Healthcare Group lead in advanced care. They use the latest tech to help patients.

Lifestyle Changes

To manage heart block, changing your lifestyle is crucial. Eating heart-healthy and staying active help a lot. Also, kicking the tobacco habit makes treatment more effective. The Acibadem Healthcare Group supports you with tips on living healthier.

Heart block care involves medicine, devices, and lifestyle shifts. It shows treating heart block is about many things. Getting help from places like the Acibadem Healthcare Group means you get the care made just for you.

The Role of Acibadem Healthcare Group in Heart Block Treatment

The Acibadem Healthcare Group leads in taking care of heart problems. They use the latest tech and expert knowledge. This helps them treat different heart block issues well. They make sure their heart block treatment fits each person’s needs.

They are great at making plans that are just right for each patient. Doctors look at every case closely. They decide on treatments that could include medicine or a pacemaker. The Acibadem Healthcare Group keeps up with new heart treatment methods.

They have top-notch places with the best machines and tools. These places help find out what’s wrong fast. They also make treatments work better. Acibadem works hard to keep these places excellent worldwide for heart block care.

They also mix healthy habits with treatments. This speeds up how fast people get better. It helps people live better lives after dealing with heart block.

Here’s how the Acibadem Healthcare Group cares for heart block:

Key Areas Details
Medical Expertise High proficiency in diagnosing and treating various degrees of heart block.
Individualized Treatment Plans Tailored approaches based on patient-specific evaluations.
Advanced Technology Utilization of cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.
Holistic Care Combination of medical treatments and lifestyle modifications.

Preventive Measures for Heart Block

Heart Block: Causes & Symptoms Need to stop heart block? Keep an eye on your heart health regularly. Eat good food and stay active every day. These steps can help a lot to avoid heart block.

Regular Check-ups

It’s important to check your heart often. This helps find heart block early. Doctors can catch heart problems before they get bad. Seeing a cardiologist now and then can spot risks and help prevent them.

Healthy Diet

Eating well is key to dodge heart block. Choose lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. Also, pick good fats over bad ones. This lowers your blood pressure and keeps your cholesterol down.


Moving your body is crucial for avoiding heart block. Things like walking, swimming, or biking are great. They make your heart and body strong. Try to move for 150 minutes every week.

  • Cardio Workouts: Activities like brisk walking or jogging enhance heart endurance.
  • Strength Training: Incorporates resistance exercises to improve overall fitness.
  • Flexibility Exercises: Yoga and stretching routines enhance flexibility and reduce stress.

To stay heart-healthy, check your heart often, eat well, and move a lot. Doing these things can lower your heart block risk. It also makes your heart and body feel better, boosting your life quality.

Living with Heart Block

Heart Block: Causes & Symptoms Learning you have heart block can change your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t keep living well. Dealing with heart block means getting regular medical care. It also involves changing your lifestyle. These steps help you stay healthy, both in body and mind.

It’s very important to follow your doctor’s plan. You might need to have check-ups often. Your doctor could suggest medicine or a pacemaker. Talking openly with your doctor is vital. It helps deal with any worries and adjusts your care as needed.

Eating right and staying active are key to a good life with heart block. A diet full of fruits, veggies, grains, and lean meats is best. Regular exercise helps your heart too. You should also find ways to relax, like yoga or meditation.

Though managing heart block takes effort, it can be done. By learning about your condition and finding support, life can still be full of joy. The aim is to balance your activities with the care your heart needs. This way, you can keep doing what you love.


What is a heart block?

A heart block hinders the heart's electrical signals. This causes an irregular heartbeat. It can vary in its seriousness, depending on the blockage's location and extent.

What causes heart block?

Heart block can be due to heart diseases, some medicines, and genetics. Conditions like heart attacks, heart muscle diseases, and birth defects are common triggers. Medicines and family conditions that mess with how the heart beats also play a part.

What are the symptoms of heart block?

Feeling tired, dizzy, or fainting are common signs of heart block. Severe cases might show signs like shortness of breath and chest pain, too.

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*The information on our website is not intended to direct people to diagnosis and treatment. Do not carry out all your diagnosis and treatment procedures without consulting your doctor. The contents do not contain information about the therapeutic health services of ACIBADEM Health Group.