What Does Heart Palpitations Feel Like?

Palpitations describe the sensation of feeling your own heart beating.

They often feel like a fluttering, pounding, a thud or movement in your chest that might last for a few seconds or minutes.

You may feel this in your neck, throat or through your ear when you’re lying down.

Are heart palpitations dangerous?

Stress, exercise, medication or, rarely, a medical condition can trigger them. Although heart palpitations can be worrisome, they’re usually harmless. In rare cases, they can be a symptom of a more serious heart condition, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), that might require treatment.

When should I be worried about heart palpitations?

You should call your doctor if your heart palpitations last longer than a few seconds at a time or occur frequently.

If a person’s heart palpitations are accompanied by:

  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Upper body pain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Unusual sweating.
  • Nausea.

What is the main cause of heart palpitations?

Most of the time, they’re caused by stress and anxiety, or because you’ve had too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. They can also happen when you’re pregnant. In rare cases, palpitations can be a sign of a more serious heart condition. So, if you have heart palpitations, see your doctor.

How do you stop heart palpitations?

What to Do

  1. Breathe deeply. It will help you relax until your palpitations pass.
  2. Splash your face with cold water. It stimulates a nerve that controls your heart rate.
  3. Exercise. Sometimes, a vigorous workout can stop heart palpitations.
  4. Don’t panic. Stress and anxiety will make your palpitations worse.