Heart Block

What is Heart Block?

Also known as atrioventricular block, heart block is a condition where the heart beats too slowly. It occurs within the heart’s electrical system where the signals that command the heart to contract are partly or completed blocked between the upper and lower chambers.

There are three types of heart block:

  • First-degree heart block

  • Second-degree heart block or Wenckabach block

  • Third degree heart block or Complete block


The symptoms experienced due to this condition depend on the type of heart block you have. First-degree heart block may not cause any signs and symptoms. Whereas symptoms of second and third-degree heart block include:

  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue


Some common causes of heart block are:

  • Heart attacks
  • Complication of lyme disease
  • Infection of the heart valves
  • Sarcoidosis or hemochromatosis
  • Scarring of the heart’s electrical system


The main risk factors related to heart block include:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • Some medications or exposure to toxic substances
  • Lyme disease


  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a heart healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Get regular health screenings

How is it diagnosed?

Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, heart block is generally diagnosed during routine tests. Moreover, your cardiologist will review your complete family and medical histories to suggest...

How is it treated?

Treatment depends on the kind of heart block you have. You may not require treatment for first-degree heart block. But cases of second and third-degree heart block need to be treated regardless of the severity. You may be asked to lower the dosage..

  • Pacemaker

    A pacemaker detects an abnormal heart rate and then it releases electrical impulses that recondition the heart to beat at a normal rate.

  • Transcutaneous pacing

    It is a temporary means of pacing a victim’s heart and should be initiated without delay.

When do I contact the doctor?

As heart block causes your heartbeat to down-off or beat unevenly. So if you are feeling any symptom of heart block, then you immediately need to reach out to your doctor.

Book an Appointment

How does Medanta provide care?

The Heart Institute at Medanta is an integrated healthcare centre with a highly experienced, qualified, and dedicated team of heart surgeons, cardi..

Get treated in specialised institutes and departments

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