A heart palpitation — a feeling of fluttering or pounding in your chest — is often harmless.
Stress, hormones, or even medicine can cause them. But they can sometimes signal a more serious heart condition.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
Heart palpitations make you feel a fluttering or pounding in your chest or like your heart is racing.
Heart palpitations are common and often harmless. Most people experience them at some point in their lives.
But they can feel unsettling and, on occasion, may be a symptom of a more serious heart problem.
Common causes include:
More serious causes of heart palpitations include:
Risks of heart palpitations include:
You can most often control the factors that cause heart palpitations and prevent them.
Learn what triggers your heart palpitations and then reduce or prevent them by:
A palpitation feels like:
You may feel them in your throat, neck, or chest.
Symptoms may occur when you're active or at rest.
In most cases, heart palpitations don't happen often and last only a few seconds.
See a doctor or call 911 right away if you have heart palpitations along with:
Most heart palpitations aren't a serious problem. You should talk to your doctor if they become more frequent or worsen.
Your doctor will order tests to look for a heart condition or other cause of your palpitations.
These tests may include:
Our experts can diagnose heart palpitations and treat their underlying causes.
Most heart palpitations aren't serious and don't need treatment.
To limit them, you can look for ways to avoid triggers, such as:
If a more serious heart problem is causing your heart palpitations, your doctor will design a treatment plan for that condition.
Experts at the UPMC Cardiac EP Program offer cutting-edge testing and treatment for people with heart palpitations.