It should go without saying that that heart disease is a major problem faced by countless individuals worldwide, but many are not sure how to identify whether they have a problem or not.
Before we proceed, it is pivotal that you know what heart blockage is. While electrical impulses that travel inside a heart muscle and instruct it to contract indicate a healthy heart, a heart blockage occurs when the heart beats slower or with an irregular rhythm, according to the National Health Service.
When electrical impulses are delayed or stopped from reaching the heart, it prevents it from beating regularly and results in a partial blockage. While this type of block doesn’t require treatment, you may not even notice it.
However, a complete blockage happens when the electrical impulses stop completely. This type of block can be fatal and can result in cardiac arrest. Let’s take a look at some reasons that cause a heart blockage.
Congenital Heart Block
Heart Blocks are caused due to several factors – some are born with it, while in others, it can develop later in their lives (acquired). A congenital heart block is an acquired condition usually seen in babies whose mothers have autoimmune diseases, like lupus, which can be transferred through the umbilical cord in certain proteins.
Even in a structurally normal heart, the condition can be detected at or before birth. The condition can also arise when a baby’s heart might have not grown suitably in the womb.
Unfortunately, for those who have recovered from a heart attack, their chances of suffering a heart block are high. Tissue damage due to heart attacks is the most common cause for acquired heart blockage, as per the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (1).
Myocarditis, also called inflammatory cardiomyopathy, is the inflammation of the heart muscle, which affects your heart’s electrical system, resulting in abnormal heartbeats. Extreme myocarditis weakens your heart so that the rest of your body doesn’t receive adequate blood
While people of all ages are affected by Myocarditis, the condition is more common in children. Other symptoms of inflammatory cardiomyopathy include shortness of breath, fluid retention, fatigue, chest pain, body ache, etc.
Similar to Myocarditis, cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects the heart muscle and the manner in which it pumps blood to the heart. And in turn, the rest of the body may not get adequate oxygen, blood, or nutrients. As cardiomyopathy deteriorates, the heart weakens.
According to a Mayo Clinic report, factors that cause this condition may include heart valve complications, chronic rapid heart rate, long-standing blood pressure, damage heart tissue from a heart attack, etc. (2).
Toxic Substances & Certain Medicines
If you are exposed to toxic substances and taking certain medicines like beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and digitalis may result in heart blockage. For this reason, doctors closely observe people who take these medicines for symptoms of this condition. However, the heart block may go away if the medicine causing the disorder is stopped. Thus, you must always consult with your doctor before you change your medicines.
If you have a complete heart blockage, you must get a device called ‘pacemaker’ in your chest. Similar to an electrical system, this device jog’s the heart’s memory to beat at a normal rate. You must also keep away from strong magnetic fields to avoid further complications. But the most important thing is to be active, take regular heart blockage tests and cautious at the same time.