Atrial fibrillation is when you have irregular heart rates. Atrial fibrillation can lead to heart failure, strokes, and blood clots. When experiencing fibrillation, the heart’s upper chamber beats randomly and irregularly, out of timing with the heart’s lower chamber.
Many people experience no noticeable fibrillation symptoms, making diagnosis by a cardiologist necessary. Noticeable symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, or weakness. The onset of atrial fibrillation can be sporadic, or it can be a consistent experience. Although atrial fibrillation is not usually life-threatening, it can cause a stroke and should be treated in some cases.
Medications and physical therapy are treatments used to restore heart rhythm, and catheter procedures interrupt the body’s electrical system to restore proper timing. Complications depend on the type of arrhythmia.
In general, complications of cardiac arrhythmias can include stroke, sudden death, and heart failure. In addition, cardiac arrhythmias are associated with an increased risk of blood clots. If a blood clot breaks off, it can travel from the heart to the brain, causing a stroke. Blood thinners can reduce the risk of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias.
Arrhythmia is a common condition and not always severe or life-threatening. The Cardiology Associates of South Florida can help determine the severity of your condition and provide treatment to correct it.