Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that can cause problems with your heart rate and rhythm. It can lead to blood clots, stroke, and other health problems. If you have atrial fibrillation, it's important to get treatment to help keep your heart healthy. In this article, we will discuss what atrial fibrillation is, its symptoms, and how it is treated.
Atrial fibrillation happens when the upper chambers of your heart, known as the atria, start beating rapidly and irregularly. This causes an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia. In a healthy person, electrical signals in the heart coordinate the movement of the heart muscle to pump blood effectively. But in atrial fibrillation, these signals don't work properly and can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 6 million patients in the U.S. diagnosed with A Fib. That number is expected to grow to more than 7 million by 2035.
One common symptom of atrial fibrillation is feeling a racing or fluttering sensation in your chest, known as palpitations. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, lightheadedness, fatigue, and dizziness.
While atrial fibrillation can occur in people of any age, there are some risk factors that make it more likely to develop. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and sleep apnea. In addition, atrial fibrillation is more common in older adults and in those who have a family history of the condition.
There are several treatment options for atrial fibrillation including medications to control heart rate and rhythm, or procedures to restore a normal heartbeat. In some cases, surgical options may be necessary to treat the condition.
While there is no cure for atrial fibrillation, it can be managed through lifestyle changes and medication.
The most common type of treatment for A Fib is drug therapy. This includes medicine to control the heart’s rhythm and rate and/or blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots from forming and reduce stroke risk. Left untreated, atrial fibrillation can lead to serious health complications, such as stroke. With proper treatment, however, you can manage your condition and live a healthy life.
It's important to talk with your doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing and discuss the best treatment plan for you. Taking steps to manage atrial fibrillation can help reduce your risk of stroke and other complications. For more information on heart health visit www.SamHoustonHeart.net.