Treating atrial fibrillation is important for several reasons. An irregular, rapidly beating heart can weaken the heart muscle and cause it to dilate or stretch out. This can increase your risk of developing heart failure or having chest pain or even a heart attack. Also, atrial fibrillation can greatly increase your risk of having a stroke. Many people are able to live full and active lives ...
What is atrial fibrillation?Atrial fibrillation (say “A - tree - uhl fih - bruh - LAY - shun”) is an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that starts in the upper parts (atria) of the heart. Normally, the heart beats in a strong, steady rhythm. In atrial fibrillation, a problem with the heart’s electrical system causes the atria to quiver, or fibrillate. The quivering upsets the normal rhythm
Electrical cardioversion is a procedure in which an electric current is used to reset the heart's rhythm back to its regular pattern (normal sinus rhythm). The low - voltage electric current enters the body through metal paddles or patches applied to the chest wall. Cardioversion is used:To stop atrial fibrillation that has not stopped on its own or after a trial of antiarrhythmic medications has
Electrical cardioversion is frequently used for atrial fibrillation to restore a normal sinus rhythm if the heart rhythm does not convert on its own. You may also elect to have cardioversion if you find your symptoms bothersome.If your atrial fibrillation has recently started and it has been continuously present for less than 48 hours, your doctor may consider using electrical cardioversion or ...
Most people with atrial fibrillation don't have to change their daily activities. You can live well and safely with atrial fibrillation.There are some precautions you can take to prevent problems from atrial fibrillation. For example, tell your doctor about any activities that trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation. And talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program or change your workouts. The table below describes some of the ways your life may be affected by your arrhythmia. It also offers tips on preventing problems.Impact of atrial fibrillation on your daily lifeAspect of lifePotential impact of atrial fibrillationTips for successStressStressful situations can trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation or make your atrial fibrillation worse.Try to lower the amount of stress at work or with family.Try meditation and other relaxation techniques when stress is unavoidable. WorkMost people with atrial fibrillation can continue working.Avoid strenuous activity and
Asking questions about your medical history and doing a physical exam for atrial fibrillation can reveal important information about your health and will often direct more testing.Your doctor may ask the following questions:What symptoms, if any, have you experienced?Have you experienced a sensation of fluttering in your chest? Any lightheadedness? Any chest pain? Any shortness of breath?Have you
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) helps protect you against dangerous heart rhythms. It's important to know how this device works and how to keep it working right. Learning a few important facts about ICDs can help you get the best results from your device.You may have a device that combines an ICD with a pacemaker, which keeps your heart from beating too slowly. For more information on pacemakers, see Heart Problems: Living With a Pacemaker.Key pointsAvoid strong magnetic and electrical fields. These can keep your device from working right. Most office equipment and home appliances are safe to use. Learn which things you should use with caution and which you should stay away from.Know what to do when you get a shock from your ICD. Be sure that any doctor, dentist, or other health professional you see knows that you have an ICD. Always carry a card in your wallet that tells what kind of device you have. Wear medical alert jewelry that says you have an ICD. Have your