We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Difference between Tachycardia and Bradycardia?

By Jennifer Long
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tachycardia and bradycardia are both changes in the normal heartbeat. Bradycardia is the term used to describe an abnormally slow heartbeat, whereas tachycardia is used to denote the occurrence of an abnormally rapid heartbeat. Each of these two conditions has different symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Although tachycardia and bradycardia both alter the heartbeat, each affects it differently. When a person’s resting or sleeping heart rate rises above the normal range of 60 to 100 beats per minute, the person is suffering from tachycardia. With tachycardia, one or both of the chambers of the heart beats faster than the other. Bradycardia occurs when one or both of the chambers beat slower than 60 beats per minute.

The symptoms of each condition make for another difference between the two. In addition to the changes in heart rates, other symptoms occur as a result of altered heart rates. Tachycardia can cause chest pain, dizziness, and fainting. Symptoms of bradycardia include shortness of breath, a drop in blood pressure, and extreme fatigue. In rare instances, a patient with either of these conditions may not experience any symptoms other than the change in heart rate.

The causes of these conditions are also different. Tachycardia can be caused by congenital abnormalities, heart disease, and some types of lung diseases. It can also be caused by substance abuse and a reaction to some medications. Causes of bradycardia include electrolyte imbalances, hypothyroidism, and blood pressure medication side effects. Coronary diseases that cause damage to the electrical system of the heart can also lead to bradycardia.

Treatments for tachycardia and bradycardia are dependent on the symptoms and causes. For tachycardia, common treatments include anti-arrhythmic medications that slow down the heartbeat and cardioversion, which uses electrical pulses to reset the rhythm of the heart. Treatments for bradycardia include a pacemaker implant and treating underlying conditions causing a slow heart rate. In many instances, if symptoms are minimal or do not exist, treatment may be delayed until a proper diagnosis is obtained.

Tachycardia and bradycardia are two different conditions, but they both affect the heart. A rapid heart rate causes the heart to work too hard and cause blood to flow too rapidly through the body. Slowed heart rates reduce the amount of blood and oxygen to vital organs. With blood flow affected, damage to vital organs and the brain can occur. If symptoms are experienced, it is important to seek medical treatment to avoid potential damage.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By bluedolphin — On May 19, 2013

I know arrhythmia can happen to anyone and there are medical tests that have to be done to diagnose it.

But can someone have both tachycardia and bradycardia in different situations? When I exercise, I feel like my hearbeat goes up very high. And then there are times when my heartbeat seems slower than usual.

By stoneMason — On May 19, 2013

@ZipLine-- Blood pressure and heartbeat (also called heart rate or pulse rate) are not the same.

Blood pressure is the pressure applied on the arteries by blood. Heartbeat is how many times the heart beats per minute.

Someone who has tachycardia and bradycardia may experience symptoms. For example, tachycardia patients can feel their heart pounding and may develop restlessness and anxiety. Those with bradycardia may experience slowness in their movements and slow breathing.

But the only technical way to know if you have tachycardia or bradycardia is to count your heartbeat. You can do this by placing your index and middle finger on the inside of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, look at your watch and count the number of beats for fifteen seconds. Then, multiply by four to get the number of beats per minute.

By ZipLine — On May 18, 2013

Whenever my mom's blood pressure increases, she says that she has tachycardia. Can someone tell if they have tachycardia or bradycardia easily?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.