Cardiovascular health is extremely important to monitor, especially once you pass your thirties. One of the many heart conditions that can put you in an early grave is atrial fibrillation, AFIB for short. AFIB takes around 158,000 lives every year, according to data from the Center for Disease Control. As such, it’s important to know how to spot it early.
What are the most commonly seen atrial fibrillation symptoms? What causes this cardiovascular condition? How can you treat it once you have it? Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Atrial Fibrillation
First, let’s define what exactly atrial fibrillation is. Your heart manages its own pace and blood flow without external help in a healthy body. It beats at a steady pace, only elevated when under severe stress or during physical activity.
So, what is atrial fibrillation? AFIB occurs when the fibers of your atria start quivering, creating an irregular heartbeat that’s out of sync with the ventricles, or the lower chambers of the heart. This often creates the sensation of a racing heartbeat and puts you at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.
What Causes Atrial Fibrillation?
In most cases, the cause of AFIB is some sort of structural damage or defect in the heart itself. However, certain conditions can contribute to its development as well. These atrial fibrillation causes include:
- Sleep apnea
- Severe viral infection
- Stimulant exposure
This is part of the reason why it’s so important for those who’ve had the coronavirus to keep an eye on their coronary health after the fact.
Common Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms
There are many different types of afib, all with different presentations and symptoms. However, some signs of atrial fibrillation that remain consistent across most variants include:
- A general feeling of fatigue and malaise
- Chest pains
- A racing or irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
If you’re experiencing these atrial fibrillation symptoms on a regular basis, or they come on suddenly, don’t hesitate. Call your doctor or the emergency room immediately. When you’re dealing with a heart health issue, treatment speed is crucial.
How Is Atrial Fibrillation Treated?
If you’ve recently been diagnosed, you may wonder what sort of atrial fibrillation treatment options exist. AFIB usually gets treated by using either prescription medications or an electric shock to help regulate the heart’s rate. You may also be prescribed medications such as beta-blockers to keep the heart’s pulse under control.
Your Journey Towards Heart Health Starts Today
Now that you understand what atrial fibrillation symptoms to look for and how the condition is treated, you know how to spot the signs in the wild. However, keeping your heart healthy involves protecting it from AFIB and many other cardiovascular health concerns.
Are you ready to begin your journey towards heart health? Do you need help understanding that’s involved in keeping your ticker ticking like it’s supposed to? If so, then why not check out our blog? We update each day with more helpful and informative health and lifestyle articles like this one!