Therapeutic exercises as well as lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and reducing intake of caffeine and alcohol, may help cure tachycardia, or fast heart rate. Tachycardia is often rectified without medical therapy or treatment, according to the American Heart Association.
A doctor may recommend therapeutic exercises to treat tachycardia, such as pressing gently on the eyeballs with eyes closed or holding the nostrils closed while blowing air through the nose, the American Heart Association advises. Additionally, sudden immersion in cold water may help if episodes are frequent or prolonged. A carotid sinus massage is a form of treatment that involves applying pressure to the area of the neck where the carotid artery splits into two branches. Because there is a risk of blood clots with this procedure, it should always be performed by a healthcare professional.
Other ways to slow the heartbeat include vagal maneuvers, according to the Mayo Clinic. These are simple physical movements performed during an episode of a fast heart rate. Vagal maneuvers involve coughing, putting an ice pack on the face, or bearing down as if having a bowel movement. Medications may be prescribed if vagal maneuvers do not work. An injection of anti-arrhythmic medication may restore normal heart rate, and there are pill prescriptions a doctor may prescribe. Some anti-arrhythmic prescriptions work to prevent episodes from occurring when taken regularly. in some cases, a doctor may recommend a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator or open-heart surgery.