©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Supraventricular Tachycardia


What were the symptoms of your supraventricular tachycardia (SVT, PSVT)? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Jen, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia about a year and a 1/2 ago. I wonder if anyone who has this issue has a problem with their ears feeling full all the time. My ear fullness comes and goes but when they do feel full it feels like it's harder to breathe. I know rapid heart rate can make it hard to breathe but it seems like the ear fullness makes it worse.

Comment from: Native Floridian, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I was scheduled for knee surgery on 12/6/16, which was cancelled because my pulse was spiking well over 120. I visited the cardio physician next day, and diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). My aortic valve was replaced in August 2014, and within 10 days my pulse was up to 140, I had ablation and pulse was back to normal 75. SVT has only occurred at very stressful times since. My cardiologist says to drink very cold water and it should subside, and it does. I am 79 and otherwise in good health.

Comment from: WPW, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 26

My daughter was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and had an ablation in May. She still has tachycardia and we are working with the cardiologist to decide on the next step.

Comment from: Myburgh, 19-24 (Patient) Published: November 09

I have had supraventricular tachycardia for about 6 years now. The only thing that works for me is to let out all the air in my lungs. Then hold in till you feel you are about to pass out then inhale quickly; and it is gone. Hope this works for you guys.

Comment from: SSnow, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I was diagnosed with SVT when I was 18 after a car accident. I’d had previous episodes but didn't really worry since they would go away.

Comment from: dtb, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 25

My wife is in hospital right now awaiting surgery. Her pulse reaches 240 all the time and had gone as high as 280. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Please pray for my dear Angie.

Comment from: leenie16, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 17

My racing heart woke me up. I was short of breath my skin was clammy and I was dizzy.

Comment from: Tracy S, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I have had SVT for over 20 years. In April I will be having my 2nd ablation and I am once again having the symptoms. It scares me to go in public places because I always feel like I am going to pass out or have an attack. I am without health insurance at this time so I have learned to just try to make it go away when I can.

Comment from: sean84, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 21

SVT for me started when I was around 25 years old. The first time it happened I thought I was having a heart attack due to my resting pulse rate was 240bpm. Months later and several trips to the doctor I was diagnosed with SVT, a condition I was born with. I now have a pill to take if I have an episode, but due to how fast my heart goes I still go to the hospital every time it happens.

Comment from: tsuki, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 17

I first felt my heart skip a beat and then start pounding away. I could even see it pounding. I was sweating and lightheaded with tightness in my chest. There were tingling sensations in my fingers and arms and a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach (which could be attributed to my extreme fright). I walked around and tried to distract myself which worked for approx. 3 to 5 minutes but then it would start up again for 15-20 minutes at a time until I belatedly felt I needed to go to the ER. All in all, it lasted a good 6 to 7 hours.

Comment from: Mike B, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 18

I guess I'm a lucky fella. I first experienced SVT whilst driving my car. All of a sudden I felt absolutely terrible. No pain, just felt very unwell. I pulled over to the side of the road and over a period of 15 or so minutes, I felt a little better, and drove on. Following 2 or more of these horrible episodes, I consulted a cardio surgeon, who found no abnormalities, but recommended an angiogram. As it turned out, I had a major blockage in one of the main heart arteries which was fixed by an angioplasty and stent. A couple of weeks later I had another episode and I drove straight to the hospital. They put me on an ECG machine which picked up the SVT.I am otherwise a very fit and moderately active person.


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer
Comment from: suecal, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

Mine started with severe chest pain and very rapid heartbeat. The first couple times it went away on it's own, though I went to sleep with it happening the second time, and my doctor said, "DO NOT DO THAT!" I went a year without problems and ended up in the ER yesterday and had to medically inverted today. I have a call in to my doc right now to see what he wants to do. I've been told surgery or a pacemaker were my options. My pulse is usually around 199 when this happens. Yesterday for the first time I was dizzy and nauseated. Chest pains were different this time. Just go to ER. Don't mess with this because you could be having a heart attack or this could lead to stroke.

Comment from: Mrs. H, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 26

This has been happening to me for over 10 years, and sometimes it only happens once a year. This year (2011) I have had it 3 times with the last one being last night. 220 bpm, tight chest, pounding visibly. I have been to several docs and cardiologists, done the ECG, Holter Monitor etc. Because it happens so rarely they have come up with nothing. I was told that when it happens to go to my nearest cardiologist. It would be over by then!

Comment from: angie1187, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

The symptoms of my SVT were of the following: palpitations that are so violent that you can see the heart beat through a thick sweater, shortness of breath, anxiety, weakness, dizziness and when the attack is over, I feel as if I ran a mile.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I had a number of tests to try to determine why I was getting severe shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fatigue during exercise. Nothing showed up on the tests and it got to the point where the doctors were making me feel like I was imagining things. Finally, two years later I had a severe episode of SVT and ended up in the ER and was then transferred to the ICU. I had heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath and coughing. My heart rate was 200 bpm and my lungs started to fill with fluid. They had to do cardio inversion to lower my heart rate. They did an EP study and ablation. If you have symptoms please don't let it go. Continue to see doctors until you get a diagnosis.

Comment from: lolly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I drove to the emergency room. Fast heart beat for over 2 hours. Heart rate was 170 beats. They IV'd a medicine to slow heart rate. Did EKG, CT Scan for blood clots, CBC, and monitoring all the 5 hours I was there. Then they stopped the heart for one second, to regulate it and that was all.

Comment from: Artful d, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

My heart starts to take off at 115 to 144 most of the time, for no reason, heart beats pound in chest, then chest pains, accompanied by dizziness and shortness of breath. Doctor put me on Holter monitor and said although fast my rhythms were normal and did not recomend any further evaluation or explanation for the cause of rapid heart rate. EKGs normal, adrenals normal, gallbladder normal, no MVP. No explanations given for rapid heart rate. I've been left hanging.


Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors