It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s… your heart?
Often described as a sensation of fluttering, racing, rumbling, or even pounding, Atrial Fibrillation (also known as Afib) is an irregular heartbeat that can present in many different ways. Some people don’t feel palpitations, but instead feel dizzy, weak, short of breath, or lightheaded. And some people feel nothing at all. So why should you care? Atrial fibrillation is the most common abnormal heart rhythm, and it affects almost 3 million people in the United States; nearly 10% of all people over the age of 65 have Afib. Atrial fibrillation is a leading cause of stroke and can ultimately result in heart failure if left untreated. In short, what might seem like a minor nuisance, can actually have a profound impact on your health.
What is atrial fibrillation and how common is it?
Anyone is at risk for developing atrial fibrillation. Factors such as sleep apnea, diabetes, abnormal thyroid function, excessive alcohol use, uncontrolled high blood pressure, heart valve issues, and advanced age, can put you at an even greater risk for developing Afib.
If you believe you may be at risk for developing Afib, or if you believe you may have experienced symptoms, book an appointment online with a Swedish primary care doctor to discuss your concerns today. An Afib diagnosis is confirmed by recording the heart’s electrical tracing during an Afib episode. After the diagnosis is made, there are many treatment options to address symptoms and lower the risk of future stroke and heart failure. If you have been previously diagnosed with Afib, make sure to see your primary care doctor, or cardiologist, to discuss the best treatment plan for you.
Treatments may include prescription medications and/or procedures to restore the rhythm back to normal. Afib prescription medications can reduce the risk of developing a stroke, regulate the heartbeat, and relieve symptoms.
What was once seen as a minor issue by the medical community is now considered to have major effects on health, wellness, and healthcare costs in the US. Don’t let an irregular heartbeat stop you from enjoying your life — schedule an appointment with a Swedish cardiologist at 206-215-4545, and see how you can reduce your risk for developing, or worsening, atrial fibrillation today!
Learn more about the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute.
Subscribe to the Swedish blog and stay connected to our helpful health resources.
Recommended for you:
Anyone can save a life with hands-only CPR
4 surprising signs you may have heart disease
How to recognize a silent stroke
Tony’s Story – Atrial Fibrillation:
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.