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Why do I have missed heart beats everyday?

Q: I miss my heartbeat at least once a day and I also have loss of breath for about 2-3 seconds. Rest of the day I am fine. My nose is always blocked, even though I don't have cold. I get very anxious when this happens. It mostly happens in the morning. I consulted my family doctor who says nothing is wrong. He asked me to do steam inhalation.I also had a history of lone atrial fibrillation 4 years back. Please advise.

A:It is not unusual for people to notice a missed beat or an extra beat or two. These are referred to as extrasystoles and are of no consequence. The key is to make sure there is no contributory factor such as excess caffeine intake which may be in the form of tea, coffee or products such as colas. Stress and smoking can also precipitate these beats. Since you have had lone atrial fibrillation in the past I am sure your physician has done an electrocardiogram (ECG) to exclude episodic atrial fibrillation. A Holter monitor study can be done where your ECG is monitored continuously for 24-48 hours. This will show the kind of extrasystole you have or whether you have intermittent runs of atrial fibrillation. If you do have extrasystoles no treatment is necessary as, so far, they have not been shown to be associated with increased mortality.

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