Our hearts are having a difficult time keeping up with the increasingly hectic and “all-fast food” lifestyle, which might finally result in mortality. Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening, we must have a thorough understanding of the signs of this heart condition, known as atrial fibrillation, as well as all the accessible treatments.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
The top chambers of the heart, which are known as the atria, are where atrial fibrillation (also known as Afib or AF) starts. The regular cycle of electrical signals in the heart is disrupted if you suffer from atrial fibrillation. This causes a rapid, erratic heartbeat and inadequate blood flow from your upper chambers (atria) to the lower chambers (ventricles).
Atrial fibrillation is characterized into three main categories:
- Paroxysmal Afib- Paroxysmal Afib often lasts for just a week and goes away on its sans any sort of intervention.
- Persistent Afib- Treatment is required for persistent Afib, which lasts longer than a week.
- Long-standing Afib- Afib that has persisted for over a year might be challenging to treat.
If left untreated, afib can cause a stroke along with life-threatening medical issues. Understanding the symptoms and discussing the specific risk factors with the doctor is crucial.
Symptoms of the Disease
Some Afib sufferers lack any symptoms. The ventricles’ rate of beat will determine this. One probably will not notice anything if they’re beating at a regular or slightly faster rate.
But they will start to have symptoms if the ventricles begin to beat more quickly. These may consist of:
- Extreme tiredness.
- A racing heart.
- An unsteady heartbeat.
- A sensation in the chest area similar to fish flopping or butterflies.
- Stumbling (fainting).
- A feeling of faintness or dizziness.
- Dyspnea or shortness of breath.
- Angina, or chest discomfort.
If a person experience symptom, they must thus keep track of when they occur and notify the doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation
To identify A-fib or rule out other illnesses that might produce the same symptoms, a doctor may run several tests. Testing could involve:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): The electrical function of the heart is measured by this rapid and painless examination. Electrodes in the form of adhesive patches are put to the legs, arms, and very rarely the chest. The electrodes are wired to a machine that displays the test results. An ECG can detect whether a heart beats too rapidly, sluggishly, or not at all. An ECG is a fundamental test for detecting atrial fibrillation.
- Holter monitor: During routine everyday activities, this tiny, transportable ECG gadget is kept in a pocket or hung on a belt or neck strap. It continually logs the heart’s activity for 24 hours or more.
- Blood tests: These assist a clinician in ruling out thyroid issues or in identifying other blood constituents that can cause A-fib.
- Event recorder: Identical to a Holter monitor, this gadget only records sometimes for a short period. It is normally worn for 30 days, which is longer than a Holter monitor. When experiencing symptoms, one often presses a button. Some gadgets start recording when they notice an irregular heartbeat.
- Stress test: Stress testing, often known as exercise testing, includes monitoring the heart during exercising on a stationary bike or treadmill.
- Echocardiogram: During this noninvasive test, sound waves are used to create images of the heart’s composition, size, and speed.
It can be frightening, perplexing, or intimidating to deal with the complicated heart illness known as atrial fibrillation. Millions of individuals are discovering fresh methods for controlling Afib while still having a good time. The healthcare practitioner should be consulted at the earliest to learn more about the support networks and services that are accessible.