Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm that starts in the upper parts (atria) of the heart. Normally, the heart beats in a steady rhythm. With atrial fibrillation, a problem with the heart’s electrical system causes the atria to tremble, or fibrillate. This disturbs the normal rhythm between the atria and lower ventricles of the heart.
Atrial Fibrillation Causes
Some common conditions that damage or strain the heart include:
Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms
Some atrial fibrillation symptoms may include:
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Feeling out of breath.
- Feeling weak or tired.
- A feeling that the heart is fluttering or racing.
- A feeling that the heart is beating unevenly.
Atrial Fibrillation Treatments
There are numerous atrial fibrillation treatments. Which treatment is best for you depends on your individual symptoms and risks.
Sometimes, doctors will use a procedure called cardioversion to get a person’s heartbeat back to a normal rhythm. This can be done using either medicine or a low-voltage electrical shock. However, atrial fibrillation often comes back after this procedure.
If you have mild symptoms, or if atrial fibrillation returns after cardioversion, the following medicines may be prescribed by your doctor:
- Rhythm-control medicines to help return the heart to its normal rhythm and maintain it
- Rate-control medicines to keep the heart from beating too fast
Atrial Fibrillation Treatments for Your Home
Since atrial fibrillation is often the result of heart damage, making improvements to your overall well-being can help. Below are some atrial fibrillation treatment methods you can do from home.
- Don't smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke, too.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar in your target range.
- Manage your stress level.
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid getting sick from the flu. Get a flu shot every year.
For more information on Atrial Fibrillation call 847.570.2640