What is Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)?
- Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is an irregular and rapid heartbeat that causes the heart's upper chambers to quiver.
- This condition affects millions of people worldwide, and it can lead to serious health problems like stroke and heart failure.
Risk Factors and Triggers of AFib
- Various factors contribute to AFIB risk, including age, hypertension, obesity, and sleep apnea.
- Some substances and infections, like alcohol and the flu, can also trigger AFib.
- Managing these factors is crucial in reducing AFIB risk.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
- AFib often goes unnoticed, but some may experience palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and fatigue.
- Unfortunately, many people discover they have AFib only after experiencing a stroke.
Types of Atrial Fibrillation
- AFib can be categorized by its duration:
- Paroxysmal AFib occurs occasionally and stops within seven days.
- Persistent AFib lasts more than seven days, up to a year.
- Long-standing persistent AFib persists for more than a year.
What Is Your Risk for AFib?
- AFib can cause lasting damage to your heart and brain.
- A risk assessment tool can help estimate your risk of having or developing AFib.
- Consult a specialist if you're at medium or high risk.
Do You Have AFib?
- You can check for AFib by monitoring your pulse manually or using smartphone apps or home blood pressure monitors.
- If you suspect AFib, consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.
AFib Risk Evaluation and Diagnosis
- Diagnosis involves evaluating symptoms, risk factors, and medical history.
- Tests like EKG, echocardiogram, and blood tests help confirm AFib.
- Proper diagnosis is essential to determine the best treatment approach.
Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke
- Did you know that AFib increases the risk of stroke by five times?
- Several factors, including age, hypertension, and heart failure, can further elevate this risk.
- During AFib, blood can clot in the heart, potentially leading to a stroke if the clot travels to the brain.
Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Failure
- AFib and heart failure are interconnected heart conditions.
- Heart failure can weaken the heart muscles, and AFib's irregular rhythms put extra stress on the heart.
- Treating AFib can improve heart function and, conversely, heart failure can lead to AFib.
Atrial Fibrillation and Sleep Apnea
- People with sleep apnea are four times more likely to develop AFib.
- Sleep apnea, a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Identifying and treating sleep apnea can help manage AFib better.
Atrial Fibrillation and Influenza (Flu)
- Influenza (flu) can raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and AFib.
- Getting an annual flu vaccine can help prevent this trigger for AFib.
AFIB Treatment in Houston, TX
- Treatment focuses on risk factor modification, stroke prevention, heart rate control, and rhythm management.
- Medications, catheter ablation, cardioversion, and pacemakers are among the available treatments.
- Lifestyle changes and managing risk factors are crucial in AFib management.
Living with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
- Taking an active role in your care can improve your quality of life.
- Communicate openly with your doctor about symptoms, medications, and lifestyle changes.
- Lifestyle modifications, stress management, and regular follow-ups are key to managing AFib.
What Should I Ask My Doctor If I Have AFib?
- Prepare a list of questions for your doctor to understand your condition better.
- Questions may cover causes, types, symptoms, treatment options, and lifestyle adjustments.
- Being informed empowers you to make the best decisions for your AFIB management.