If you or someone you love has had heart problems, then chances are you have come across the term bundle branch block. After hearing this scary medical condition, it is normal to want to know more about what it is and if it can be fixed.
What is a Bundle Branch Block?
Your heart consists of bundles of cells that work as a highway for electrical signals to be sent to your heart to keep it beating. Think of a bundle branch block as a traffic jam. If something blocks these cells from sending the signals, then you have a jam or a block and it will no longer function properly. Your heart is made up of two such highways, a left and a right side. If both are jammed you get a complete heart block and the heart would stop beating completely.
Why Does Bundle Branch Block Happen?
There are several reasons why a branch block may happen. Sometimes branch bundle block happens for no apparent reason even in a heart that is healthy. However, here are a few other reasons it may happen:
Cardiomyopathy: Cardiomyopathy is the name of a heart muscle disease where the heart muscles become rigid and enlarged. As the disease progresses, the heart muscles become weaker. This makes it harder for the heart muscles to pump blood.
Coronary Artery Disease: Coronary artery disease is the number one killer in the United States. This particular heart disease is the result of plaque buildup in the arteries. As the plaque buildup gets worse, it becomes harder for the heart to pump blood.
Can a Bundle Branch Block be Repaired?
It is actually not unusual to find a bundle branch block on an echocardiogram; and it may or may not need to be treated. Here are some of the instances treatment would be required:
In association with fainting spells: If your doctor finds that you have a bundle branch block and have been having issues with fainting or loss of consciousness, further testing may show that you would require a pacemaker.
After damage from an acute heart attack: If both the left and the right bundle branches show damage after an acute heart attack then there is a good chance of a complete heart block in the near future. Your doctor may want to discuss with you a pacemaker in this situation.
Issues with left ventricular ejection fraction: Sometimes bundle branch block happens in conjunction with problems that occur in the left ventricular ejection fraction. These patients may have to consider a therapy that improves the performance of the heart muscle.
You may have no symptoms at all of a branch block and sometimes it is found by accident. Most of the time nothing needs to be done. However, as mentioned previously, if it happens in conjunction with other conditions or worrying symptoms, then is is something that should be explored further.
To learn more, visit an urgent care facility like Advance Medical of Naples.