Symptoms of supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT, include heart palpitations, dizziness, light-headedness, shortness of breath and fainting, according to eMedicineHealth. Other symptoms include anxiety, chest pain and tightness.
Supraventricular tachycardia symptoms often depend on the patient’s health and how fast his heart is beating, notes eMedicineHealth. Characteristics of the symptoms vary widely, with some suddenly appearing and disappearing, some lasting only a few moments, or others lasting as long as one or two days. Many people exhibit no symptoms at all, while those with prior heart damage or currently existing medical issues can undergo heightened discomfort or complications.
Supraventricular tachycardia is brought on by an abnormal electrical pathway in the heart, explains WebMD. Although the exact cause of the electrical anomaly is not well understood, experts believe that it may be caused by extremely high levels of digoxin or theophylline in the body; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure or pneumonia; or upper heart chamber surgery.
Treatment options depend on the scope and severity of the condition. For suddenly appearing episodes, holding the breath, bearing down and coughing can help alleviate symptoms, says WebMD. For recurring episodes, treatment includes the use of medications, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and antiarrhythmic medicines. A catheter ablation procedure may also be performed to stop abnormal rhythm in most people.