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Atrial Fibrillation Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Atrial Fibrillation

  1. Topic Overview

    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

  2. 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 ...

  3. Atrial Fibrillation - Symptoms

    Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include:Heart palpitations.Irregular pulse.Shortness of breath, especially during physical activity or emotional stress.Weakness, fatigue.Dizziness, confusion.Lightheadedness or fainting (syncope).Chest pain (angina).Atrial fibrillation is often discovered during routine medical checkups, because many people do not have symptoms. Others may notice an irregular ...

  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. Maze Procedure for Atrial Fibrillation

    The maze procedure is a surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation.

  6. Pacemaker for Atrial Fibrillation

    A pacemaker is a battery - powered device about the size of a pocket watch that sends weak electrical impulses to “set a pace” so that the heart is able to maintain a regular heartbeat. There are two basic types of pacemakers:Single - chamber pacemakers stimulate one chamber of the heart, either an atrium or more often a ventricle. Dual - chamber pacemakers send electrical impulses to both the

  7. Calcium Channel Blockers for Atrial Fibrillation

    Drug details for Calcium channel blockers for atrial fibrillation.

  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. Heart Rhythm Problems: How to Travel Safely - Topic Overview

    It is safe for most people with arrhythmias, pacemakers, and ICDs to travel. Riding in a car, bus, train, boat, or plane is very unlikely to aggravate the arrhythmia. But there are easy things you can do to travel safely and prepare for potential problems.General travel tips Always bring a supply of medicine that will last longer than the expected length of the trip. That way, if the trip is extended, you won't run out of medicine. Bring a list of your medical conditions and an up-to-date list of your medicines (including dosages). Wear a medical alert bracelet that identifies your condition.Bring a list of the names and phone numbers of your doctors.If you are traveling out of the country, take along the phone numbers and addresses of embassies in the areas you will visit. They can help you find a doctor or hospital.Call in the event of an emergency. If you are in a foreign country, learn the emergency number for that country.For more tips, see the topic Travel Health.If you have a

  10. Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

    If medication is not effective or not tolerated for atrial fibrillation, a nonsurgical procedure called radiofrequency catheter ablation may be chosen. In this procedure thin, flexible wires are inserted into a vein in the groin and threaded up through the vein and into the heart. Through an electrode at the tip of the wires, radio waves can be delivered to selectively destroy heart tissue ...

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