Queens Medical Centre

Opening hours Monday to Friday (8am to 6pm)

Queens Medical Centre

Opening hours Mon to Fri (8am to 6pm)

About Atrial Fibrillation

 

Understanding and Managing Atrial Fibrillation: A Guide for Adults

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a common but often misunderstood condition. It is a type of irregular heartbeat that can lead to a variety of health complications if not properly managed. Here's what you need to know about AFib, its importance, and how to effectively manage it.

 

Atrial Fibrillation: What Is It?

AFib is a heart condition characterised by a fast and irregular heartbeat, often resulting from abnormal electrical signals in the heart. These irregular signals cause the two upper chambers of the heart, the atria, to fibrillate (or quiver), leading to inefficient blood pumping.

 

Importance of Identifying AFib

Identifying AFib is crucial because, while it's not life-threatening in itself, it can lead to serious complications. AFib can increase your risk of stroke and heart failure. Because AFib often has no symptoms or only subtle ones, many people are unaware they have it until they experience a complication.

 

Diagnosing AFib

If you have symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, or weakness, it's essential to seek medical attention. Your doctor can diagnose AFib through several tests, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter monitoring, or an echocardiogram.

 

Managing AFib

Once diagnosed, managing AFib involves two main goals: controlling the heart rate and preventing blood clots.

Heart rate control: Medications like beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers can help control the heart rate. In some cases, procedures such as cardioversion (using electricity to reset your heart's rhythm) or catheter ablation (which aims to disrupt the abnormal electrical pathways in the heart) may be recommended.

 

Preventing blood clots: Since AFib increases the risk of blood clots, anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications are often prescribed to reduce this risk.

 

Living With AFib

Living with AFib involves regular monitoring, medication management, and lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking. Regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet can also help control your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications.

 

Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition, but with proper management, it doesn't have to rule your life. Remember, we're here to support you in managing your AFib effectively. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns about your heart health.