Treatment

Treatment for bradycardia depends on the type of electrical conduction problem, the severity of symptoms and the cause of your slow heart rate. If you have no symptoms, treatment might not be necessary.

Treating underlying disorders

If a disorder such as hypothyroidism or obstructive sleep apnea is causing bradycardia, treatment of the disorder might correct bradycardia.

Change in medications

A number of medications, including some to treat other heart conditions, can cause bradycardia.

Your doctor will check what medications you're taking and possibly recommend alternatives. Changing drugs or lowering dosages might correct problems with a slow heart rate.

When other treatments aren't possible and symptoms require treatment, a pacemaker is necessary.

Pacemaker

This battery-operated device about the size of a cellphone is implanted under your collarbone. Wires from the device are threaded through veins and into your heart. Electrodes at the end of the wires are attached to heart tissues. The pacemaker monitors your heart rate and generates electrical impulses as necessary to maintain an appropriate rate.

A wireless pacemaker has been approved by the FDA. The leadless system holds promise for people who need pacing in only one ventricle, but more study is needed.