ZocdocAnswersWhy did my heart feel like it was going to explode? I couldn't breath, turned purple, and almost past out.

Question

Why did my heart feel like it was going to explode? I couldn't breath, turned purple, and almost past out.

Hello im a 29 year old female while at the store I felt like my chest was going to explode my husband said I turned purple andbwas about to pass out he quickly sat me down and fanned air to me. My heart felt like it was beating very fast and the right half of my head and face feel like it gonna explode and a lil num. I also notice a bump on my right side of my head feels kinda soft and mushy like liquidy. And my left eye isbvery blurry. I havent fell or gotten hurt not sure why is all happened. Please help

Answer

During times when your body's organs require additional oxygen, such as exercise, your heart beats faster to keep up with this increased demand. Although a normal heart rate for most adults is 60-100 beats per minute, this can occasionally rise into the mid-to-high 100s during periods of markedly increased demand, which is a normal response. Occasionally, however, a normal heart rhythm may switch into an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. In this setting, the heart rate can become so rapid that the heart cannot adequately fill between beats, meaning the body cannot receive enough oxygen. Patients often experience palpitations or a sensation of their heart beating out of their chest. In these situations, it is possible to become lightheaded or even pass out. Given your symptoms, it is important for you to be evaluated by your physician to determine if you indeed suffer an arrhythmia. Some examples of common arrhythmias are atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia, AV nodal reentrant tachycardia, or atrial tachycardia. More uncommonly, an arrhythmia, such as ventricular tachycardia, can originate in the ventricles, or bottom chambers of the heart. As mentioned, these arrhythmias can sometimes be so rapid that they can lead to loss of consciousness or sudden death. Given the severity of your symptoms, your doctor should evaluate you with a full history, physical exam, and EKG. Depending on this evaluation, it may be necessary for you to undergo 24-hour EKG monitoring, transthoracic echocardiogram (ultrasound of your heart), or exercise stress testing. Rarely, a blockage in one of your coronary arteries can cause inadequate blood supply to your heart muscle itself and cause an arrhythmia. Although this is extremely uncommon for someone your age, it is impossible to rule it out without a more thorough evaluation. Therefore, it is critical that you undergo a thorough evaluation by your physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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