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Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Atrial Fibrillation

  1. Atrial Fibrillation - Living With Atrial Fibrillation

    Since atrial fibrillation is often the result of an underlying heart condition, making changes to improve your heart condition will usually improve your overall health. Some of these changes include:Quitting smoking. Quitting smoking may be the most important step you can take to prevent coronary artery disease. For more information, see the topic Quitting Tobacco Use.Controlling your ...

  2. Turning Off Your ICD - Topic Overview

    How does your ICD help you?Your ICD can save your life.Your ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) is always checking your heart rate and rhythm. If the ICD detects a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, it tries to slow the rhythm to get it back to normal. If the dangerous rhythm doesn't stop, the ICD sends an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. Your ICD may also work as a pacemaker. It can fix a heart rate that is too fast or too slow. It may do so without using a shock.Should you consider turning off your ICD?Even though an ICD can help fix heart rate or rhythm problems, you may not want this at the end of life. Many people consider turning off their ICD when their health goal changes from living longer to getting the most comfort possible at the end of life. The shocks the ICD delivers are painful. Not being shocked will make you more comfortable at the end of life. As you plan for your future and your end of life, include plans for your ICD. The

  3. Heart Problems: Living With an ICD

    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

  4. Atrial Fibrillation - Treatment Overview

    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 ...

  5. Atrial Fibrillation - Other Treatment

    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 ...

  6. Atrial Fibrillation - Prevention

    A healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, treatment for high blood pressure, and other measures can prevent atrial fibrillation by protecting you from heart disease. Do not smoke, try to lower your stress, exercise more, and control your blood pressure. Experts also recommend that adults eat at least two servings of fish per week, particularly fish such as salmon, trout, and tuna, for a healthy ...

  7. Atrial Fibrillation - What Increases Your Risk

    Risk factors for atrial fibrillation include:Age older than 60.Being white and male.Heart failure.Heart valve disease.High blood pressure.Coronary artery disease and heart attack.Obesity.4A family history of atrial fibrillation.5Surgery on the heart.A history of rheumatic fever.Infection, such as pneumonia or endocarditis.Lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ...

  8. Vagal Maneuvers for a Fast Heart Rate - Topic Overview

    Vagal maneuvers are used to try to slow an episode of fast heart rate. These simple maneuvers stimulate the vagus nerve,sometimes resulting in slowed conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the heart. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying these. Vagal maneuvers that you can try to slow your fast heart rate include: Gagging. Holding your breath and ...

  9. History and Physical Exam for Atrial Fibrillation

    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

  10. Atrial Fibrillation - Exams and Tests

    An electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) is the best and simplest way to determine whether you have atrial fibrillation. An electrocardiogram is a recording of the electrical activity of your heart. It is usually done along with a medical history and physical exam and a chest X - ray. During your exam, your doctor will take your blood pressure to determine whether you have high blood pressure. If your ...

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