Most cases of sick sinus syndrome have few or no symptoms; however, when the symptoms appear, they include fatigue, dizziness, chest pains, fainting and shortness of breath, states Mayo Clinic. Others are slow heart rate and palpitations. The symptoms usually occur due to inadequate flow of blood to the brain during a slow or fast heart pulse.
Sick sinus syndrome is a group of abnormal heart rhythm disorders, including sinus pauses and sinus bradycardia, explains MedlinePlus. Patients with these conditions may also experience other heart rhythm disorders, such as bradycardia-tachycardia and supraventricular tachycardia. Sick sinus syndrome usually indicates that the sinus node in the heart is not working properly, says Heart Rhythm Society. The condition causes the sinus node to produce irregular signal patterns. It can occur due to problems in the heart or other external factors.
The risk factors for this condition include age, past heart attack, thyroid disease, sleep apnea and hypertension medications, states Heart Rhythm Society. It is also linked to other health conditions, such as hemochromatosis, muscular dystrophy, amyloidosis and diphtheria. Sick sinus syndrome is common in people aged 50 and above, notes MedlinePlus. Children who have undergone a surgery on the upper chambers of the heart are likely to suffer from this condition. Treatment may not be important if there are no symptoms.