Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia treatment
If you have been diagnosed with PSVT and the episodes are few and far between, some lifestyle changes may help “Avoiding alcohol, getting adequate sleep, and reducing caffeine levels sometimes help people reduce the number of PSVT episodes they have,” Lloyd adds.
Although not commonly required, medications can be helpful for some people with the heart rhythm problem, once they have made lifestyle changes. In addition, your doctor can teach you do-it-yourself maneuvers that may return your heart rate to normal during a PSVT episode. For example, the Valsalva maneuver, which involves closing your mouth and pinching your nose while trying to exhale and straining as if you were having a bowel movement, can sometimes slow a superfast heart rate. Splashing ice cold water on your face or forcing yourself to cough hard are other techniques that can help some PSVT sufferers return their pulse rate to normal.
If these strategies and medication don’t work for you, or if PSVT episodes are frequent and hurting your quality of life, a minimally invasive, low-risk procedure called a radiofrequency ablation can usually cure the condition.
“PSVT can certainly provoke anxiety and stress due to the uncertainty as to when or if the next attack will come, and many people seek a curative procedure called an ablation,” Lloyd says.
“This is an IV procedure which is done on an outpatient basis whereby the physician localizes and cauterizes the abnormal extra electrical circuit responsible for the arrhythmia. Today, this is the treatment of choice for most arrhythmias that are very frequent or result in ER visits.”
March 02, 2020
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA