Everything You Should Know About Atrial Fibrillation

Most people with atrial fibrillation are unaware they have the disorder because it rarely causes any symptoms. Some people only find out after experiencing a heart attack or stroke. If you experience Upper East Side atrial fibrillation symptoms, you can trust the specialists to use their expertise to treat the condition and restore your quality of life.

An overview of atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most prevalent form of heart arrhythmia, which can result in blood clots in the heart. Left untreated can lead to heart failure, stroke, and other heart-related complications. During atrial fibrillation, the atria beat chaotically and out of sync with the ventricles of your heart. While most people with this disorder rarely experience symptoms, some may experience shortness of breath, weakness, or a fast, pounding heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation episodes can either be intermittent or persistent. Although the disorder is not life-threatening, it’s a serious condition that demands immediate treatment to prevent life-threatening complications like stroke. Your therapy may include catheter procedures to block faulty heart signals, therapy to reset heart rhythm, and medications. People with atrial fibrillation may also have an atrial flutter, a different form of heart arrhythmia. However, its treatment is similar to that of atrial fibrillation.

When to consult your doctor

Although most people with Afib rarely have any symptoms. Those that experience them may struggle with shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness, reduced ability to exercise, fatigue, and chest pain. Atrial fibrillation can be:

  • Permanent

The irregular heart rhythm is irreversible, and you may depend on medications to prevent an irregular heartbeat and blood clots.

  • Persistent

In this disorder, your heart rhythm doesn’t return to normal without medical intervention. If you have Afib symptoms, your doctor may recommend treatment with medications or cardioversion to restore normal heart rhythm.

  • Occasional

A-fib symptoms are intermittent and may last a few minutes to hours. These symptoms resolve on their own, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t need treatment, as this disorder can still result in life-threatening symptoms.

  • Long-standing persistent

The symptoms of this disorder are continuous and may last for over 12 months if not treated.

If you experience chest pain that spreads to your left arm, call 911; you may have a heart attack.

Available treatments for atrial fibrillation

After discussing your symptoms and reviewing your medical history, the specialists at Upper East Side Cardiology may conduct a few diagnostic tests. For instance, they may perform an echocardiogram or an electrocardiogram in the comfort of their office. Afterward, they develop an individualized treatment plan. Your provider may recommend a few lifestyle adjustments, such as a regular exercise program and a heart-healthy diet to treat and prevent life-threatening diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Your physician may also prescribe specific medications to address underlying problems like high cholesterol and prevent blood clots. If your symptoms don’t improve with noninvasive treatments, the team may recommend minimally invasive treatments like catheter ablation to block faulty electrical tissues, pacemaker implantation, left atrial appendage, or cardioversion.

If you suspect you have atrial fibrillation, call the Upper East Side Cardiology office to book your spot online.

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