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It's normal for your heart rate to fluctuate throughout the day as you go through your day-to-day activities, which may include both sitting and watching TV to running on a treadmill. If your heart rate elevates for no reason, even when you're just sitting, this is called tachycardia and can be a serious condition that causes serious symptoms 1. If you suspect you have this condition, see your doctor right away.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
A high heart rate can make you feel suddenly dizzy. When your heart beats faster than it should, it will pump more blood. If blood is rushing to your brain, it can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy. Vertigo is another common problem associated with tachycardia, according to MedlinePlus 2.
- A high heart rate can make you feel suddenly dizzy.
- If blood is rushing to your brain, it can make you feel lightheaded and dizzy.
A high heart rate may also produce palpitations. Palpitations is the feeling of your heart thumping against your chest. Normally, you are not aware of your heart beating, but if your heart rate is too high, you might hear your heartbeat in your ears very loudly.
Shortness of Breath
When your heart rate is higher than it should be, you may experience shortness of breath, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is the sensation of not being able to catch your breath, even when you are sitting still and have not exerted yourself. If you're not getting enough air, you may feel dizzy, hyperventilate or pass out.
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If your heart is beating very quickly, it could be a sign of serious issues, especially if it is accompanied by pain, according to the Heart Rhythm Society. Pain in your chest or feelings of pressure could be a sign of a heart attack. Other symptoms that can accompany a high heart rate that may be serious include changes in vision and fatigue.
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- MayoClinic.com: Tachycardia: Symptoms
- MedlinePlus: Arrhythmia
- American Heart Association. Know your target heart. Updated June 2015.
- Edwards S. The Heart Rate Monitor Guidebook. Velo Press. 1999.
- American Heart Association. Know your target heart rates for exercise, losing weight and health. Updated June 2015.
- Harvard Medical School. Do you need to talk to a doctor before starting your exercise program?.
- Brookreson N. Using Heart Rate Monitoring for Personal Training. American College of Sports Medicine. https://certification.acsm.org/blog/2015/july/using-heart-rate-monitoring-for-personal-training.
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.