Are you suffering from Atrial Fibrillation or AFib? This is a condition where an irregular heart rhythm affects the upper chambers of the heart known as the atria. Instead of beating normally, the atria quivers. This can lead to rapid heart rhythms of 300 beats per minute in the atria, and up to 150 beats per minute in the lower chambers, called the ventricles.
If you’re tired of using blood thinners, then AMS Cardiology is here to help! We have over 50 years of experience helping patients’ hearts. We are one of the leading practices in the Spring House area for treating heart conditions, including Atrial Fibrillation. If you’ve been searching for an AFib cardiologist specialist near me, consider contacting AMS Cardiology today.
How Do You Know You Have Atrial Fibrillation?
Some common symptoms of AFib can include:
- Heart Sensations (or palpitations) that include irregular, thumping, or pounding heartbeats
- A feeling that the heart is racing
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Fainting or lightheadedness
- Fatigue, shortness of breath, or weakness
When you have atrial fibrillation, it increases your risk of heart failure and stroke. This is due to rapid and irregular heartbeats, often associated with atrial fibrillation. This condition can make your heart weaken over time and grow larger. Due to this inflammation, a heart that is larger and weaker will not pump blood efficiently to all areas of your body. This is when heart failure occurs.
Three Different Types of Atrial Fibrillation
There are different types of atrial fibrillation which can be described as the following:
- The first type is called Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. This sometimes occurs and then stops. It can stop by itself, and the heart eventually returns to its normal rhythm. This condition might last for seconds, minutes, hours, or even up to seven days before the heart returns to a normal rhythm.
- Persistent Atrial Fibrillation happens when the condition doesn’t stop by itself. This means that medications or cardioversion (a special type of electrical shock) might help the heart return to its normal and natural rhythm. A short-lasting persistent range from seven days to twelve months, while a long-standing, persistent lasts more than twelve months.
The goals for treating Atrial Fibrillation are relieving the symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life. To do this, it’s incredibly important to prevent any blood clots to decrease the risk of strokes. Controlling the heart rate allows the ventricles enough time to fill up with blood. Resetting the heart rhythm will let the atria and ventricles work together with more efficiency.
AFib Treatment Options
Although there is no cure for Atrial Fibrillation, there are various treatment options that can greatly improve quality of life. One treatment method is using anticoagulation or a blood thinner. This medicine is used to prevent any clots from forming. Another kind of treatment option for AFib is the restoration of normal heart rhythm either through electrical cardioversion or medication. Radiofrequency or cryo catheter ablation are other possible options for treatment. Pacemakers and defibrillators, often not used as a stand-alone treatment, can be used along with medications or catheter ablation. The last treatment option is surgery. This surgery helps treat Atrial Fibrillation by creating lines of scar tissue to block abnormal electrical circuits.