Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation is the condition where the patient experiences irregular or rapid heart rate and this leads to poor circulation of blood across the body. Atrial Fibrillation causes the upper two chambers of heart to beat irregularly without any coordination with the lower two chambers of heart. The symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation include weakness, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.

The patients may experience recurrent episodes of Atrial Fibrillation and once it develops it won’t go by its own until you seek proper treatment. However, Atrial Fibrillation is not a fatal condition, but in some cases the condition may worsen and may demand for immediate medical assistance. The condition may cause blood clot forming in heart and this may circulate to other organs, leading to blocked flow of blood called ischemia. Treatment includes medications and other interventions to change the electrical system of heart.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Patients with Atrial Fibrillation would have irregular or rapid heart beating. It would make lead to poor circulation of blood across body. Most of the patients with Atrial Fibrillation would not have any symptoms and they may not be aware of it until it is diagnosed with physical examination. Some of the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation include:

  • Reduced ability to perform workouts
  • Weakness
  • Palpitation or irregular heartbeat
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Higher fatigue levels and confusion
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Chest pain

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation is the condition where the person experiences irregular heartbeats and it occurs when the two upper chambers of heart experience chaotic electrical signals. Some of the possible causes of Atrial Fibrillation include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Lung diseases
  • Exposure to stimulants like caffeine, tobacco, caffeine and alcohol
  • Overactive thyroid gland or metabolism imbalance
  • Viral infections
  • /Previous heart surgery
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress due to pneumonia, surgery or illness

Risk Factors of Atrial Fibrillation and Complications

There are certain factors which may enhance the risk of Atrial Fibrillation and this includes:

  • Age factors
  • Herat diseases like congenital heart diseases, heart valve problems, coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Other chronic conditions

Due to Atrial Fibrillation, the patients may also experience other complications and this includes:

  • Stroke is Atrial Fibrillation is common because chaotic rhythm cause the blood to pool the upper chambers of heart and form clotting. This may dislodge form heart and reach other organs and block the flow of blood which may cause heart stroke
  • Heart failure is also common complications in Atrial Fibrillation, especially when it is not controlled. This may make the heart weak and lead to heart failure.

Test and Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation are reviewed by the doctor to confirm the presence of Atrial Fibrillation. Doctors may also conduct physical examination and other tests to diagnose the Atrial Fibrillation. This includes:

  • Electrocardiogram or ECG
  • Holter Monitor
  • Event Recorder
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cheat X-Ray
  • Blood Tests

Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

The treatment plan for Atrial Fibrillation depends on how long you have been suffering from Atrial Fibrillation, how troublesome the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation are and the underlying cause of Atrial Fibrillation. The goal for Atrial Fibrillation treatment is to reset the heart rhythm and to prevent the blood clotting.

Doctors will plan a strategy to reset the rhythm of the heart beats and bring it to normal range using a procedure called cardio-version and this treatment depends on the underlying cause and how long you have been suffering from it. Doctors may also suggest you to undergo cartheter and other surgical procedures.

Catheter ablation, surgical maze procedure and atrioventricular node ablation are some of the procedure which are performed by doctors to control the chaotic rhythm of your heart and to prevent blood clots. Medications are also prescribed by doctors in order to reduce the chamber of blood clots. Anti-coagulants and Warfarin are prescribed to prevent blood clot. Lanoxin is also prescribed along with it to control the heart beat and rate and bring it to the normal range.

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