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Heart palpitations are a result of abnormal heart rhythms. Palpitations are most commonly felt as a forced, irregular, fast paced heart beat. Heart palpitations are commonly caused by sleep apnea due to the lack of sleep and deprivation of oxygen caused by the narrowed air passage ways. If left untreated, sleep apnea greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as the risk of heart attack.
Heart palpitations often act as an indicator that problems are developing in the cardiovascular system and should be checked out but a doctor to prevent the worsening of symptoms and the onset of hypertension, stroke, heart attack, and a potentially fatal cardiac emergency such as heart failure.
Consult your health care provider if you have frequent heart palpitations and/or a history of heart disease.
Seek emergency medical care if you are experiencing heart palpitations accompanied by any of the following symptoms: chest pain or tightness, severe shortness of breath, and dizziness or fainting.