LOVE your heart: “Love your heart...get informed for prevention and treatment” (Atrial Fibrillation)
Atrial Fibrillation (AF or A-Fib)
is a condition that causes irregular heartbeats and can be found in 1-2% of the general population. It is most common in patients aged 80-90, accounting for 5-15% of all cases.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly and very rapid instead of beating effectively to move blood into the ventricles. This may lead to blood clot formation inside the heart. If a clot breaks off and enters the bloodstream a stroke may occur potentially leading to paralysis and/or death. The irregular beating also effects the heart's ability to pump blood effectively, if left untreated it could lead to heart failure. Furthermore, individuals with AF are 5 times more likely to suffer a serious heart condition.
Causes of Atrial Fibrillation
- Coronary artery disease, heart valve stenosis, myocardial dysfunction, ischemic heart disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and pericardial heart disease to name a few.
- Other diseases such as thyrotoxicosis (poisoned thyroid gland), chronic lung disease/s, emphysema, septicemia, and potential complications from major surgery.
- Unknown causes
- Medication to help the heart beat normally (rate control) and in an appropriate rhythm (rhythm control)
- Preventing formation of blood clots in the heart which can cause blockages in other vital organs throughout the body
- Utilizing electricity to convert the heart's rhythm to normal (cardio version)
- Inserting a catheter and using radio-frequency energy to restore a normal heart rhythm (catheter ablation)