Indubitably, left bundle branch block sounds alien. Anybody who hears LBBB would probably drop his jaw. Not knowing what it is. But it’s important to remember that this is a condition of the heart. A product of the ECG results. Yes, you may be familiar with ECG. And your eyes could go bright with that information. It’s true. Be it in traffic or in health. Ignorance is certainly no bliss. When you think about it, it’s really no light matter. Especially in America.
Today, America is being threatened by a killer. Heart disease. Considered to be the #1 killer disease in the mainland, heart disease with all its complications is taking over 600,000 American lives every year. That’s lives far too many. Indeed. When you think of all that, you’re looking at a catastrophe. The problem is this is happening every year. Understanding LBBB is the first step towards a healthy heart. When you really look into it, you’ll find out that getting your heart as healthy as possible is possible. With the right information at your side. Read on.
ECG in the Spotlight
To understand LBBB, we have to start with the ECG machine. Why? Simply because ECG machines produce left bundle branch block.
It may sound complicated but ECG is simple actually. ECG stands for electrocardiography – or the science of recording the electrical pulses of the heart. While the details of the electronics is bound to make your mouth drop wide open, the concept of being able to tell a person’s health from the patterns surprisingly comes from a somewhat elementary idea.
Think about your car. It could be a Hyundai, a Volvo or a Ferrari. One thing is certain each car will have its defining sound. Each will have its known quirks. And chances are each model is bound to look the same. And sound the same.
So much, that if you’re going to put a particular model of car to the manufacturer after some time, said carmaker would be able to know if your car has a problem just by hearing your vehicle run. Yes, indeed. That is the beauty of mechanical parts. As a car model is created in the same mold to the same car model, knowing its defects wouldn’t have to be an uphill climb.
That is how ECG works. It gives you the electrical activity of your heart. This is done by putting electrodes unto the skin. What comes out is a report in the form of a graph – your ECG results.
This is where you get your left bundle branch block.
So, What is Left Bundle Branch Block?
The path of a heartbeat can be measured in terms of an electrical entity. When you talk about a healthy heart, there is an orderly pattern observed. You see, LBBB is a pattern established via ECG test that represents a cardiac abnormality in terms of conduction. In such a condition, this means the left ventricle of the heart is delayed in sending signals. Simply put, this means the patient’s left ventricle is having some trouble getting activated. As a result, the left ventricle is delayed in contracting compared to the faster right ventricle.
There are lots of possible causes for a left bundle branch block. Therefore you may need more tests to pinpoint the real cause of the anomaly.
For one, it could mean the patient is highly hypertensive. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of LBBB. So in which case, the person needs to do a lifestyle change or go see a medical doctor right away.
Another cause is myocardial infarction or heart attacks. When the person has suffered or is about to suffer from such a devastating sickness, the beatings of his heart could be abnormal. Another cause is when the walls of the heart have gone thick. Such would give the heart a hard time getting its act together.
Worse, the heart could be under great stress. LBBB could signal that the powerful organ is under attack. Bacteria or virus could be pulling it down so much it can’t beat on time.
There are a lot of possible reasons why the left bundle branch block has materialized. The important thing is you are made aware of the condition and should take action to lessen the risks.
Note that there is also such a thing as right bundle branch block or RBBB.
Treatment and Complications
Like many life-threatening sicknesses, left bundle branch block is a lot more common as people age. And treating it becomes also a lot harder the older a patient becomes. More often than not, it is complications of the heart namely hypertension and heart disease are involved when LBBB shows up in ECG results.
Now, if not treated this heart issue could worsen. The heart could become even more dysfunctional with the electrical flow completely blocked from the upper chambers of the organ to the lower. When that happens, the person collapses as the heart beating slows down.
For people who have had a heart attack, the risk factors are even higher. We’re talking about sudden death due to cardiac arrest. It is important therefore to have an ECG test after overcoming a heart attack.
Even making things more complicated, left bundle branch block can muddle accurate diagnosis of the heart’s conditions. By blocking the electrical conduction, medical personnel will have a hard time figuring out what really is ailing the heart. Delaying treatment and proper care of the organ.
It is important that the heart function right. Without a functional heart, the body would degrade slowly. Patients who are experiencing an LBBB are therefore required to undergo a thorough cardiac evaluation. It’s a must. And it’s a good start.
People who take LBBB for granted are putting themselves in real trouble as the complications could overrun them sooner rather than later. The same holds true for those who have had a heart attack already. A pacemaker could be a timely addition for left bundle branch block patients.