Atrial fibrillation is a condition involving an irregular heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia. It is the most common type of arrhythmia.
In Atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals sent from the heart are rapid, irregular and disorganized, and the heart may not pump as efficiently.
Atrial fibrillation can cause the heart to beat very fast, sometimes more than 150 beats per minute. A faster than normal heartbeat is known as tachycardia.
There are many types of Atrial fibrillation. These are the following:
Often, the cause of atrial fibrillation is not known. Causes include:
Some people with atrial fibrillation may feel fine. They may not even know they have the condition until they have a routine test called an electrocardiogram. Others may experience various symptoms including:
Your doctor will listen for fast, irregular beats, using a stethoscope. Your doctor will also check your pulse and determine whether or not it is normal. Other tests include:
Your doctor will customize your treatment based on your risks, medical profile, needs and preferences. Some of the treatment strategies are:
Rhythm Control: These treatments attempt to prevent an irregular heartbeat by restoring and maintaining a normal, regular heartbeat. The first approach involves taking medications that attempt to prevent the atrial fibrillation from occurring. Occasionally, some patients require electrical cardioversion. This is a controlled electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm.
Rate Control: Almost every patient with atrial fibrillation will be prescribed a medication that is designed to slow the heart rate during Atrial fibrillation. For some, this type of medication is enough to control the symptoms.
Electrophysiology Studies (EPS) and Catheter Ablation: On rare occasions, patients with atrial fibrillation who do not respond to medications or electrical cardioversion require an EPS in order to stop atrial fibrillation from recurring. The objective of EPS testing is to locate the cause of irregular electrical impulses in the heart. Catheter ablation is then performed to destroy, through tiny burns, the electrically chaotic tissue in the heart. During EPS and catheter ablation, thin wires (or catheters) are introduced to the heart through veins in the leg and neck.
Radiofrequency energy is sent through the catheters to the parts of the heart where the irregular electrical impulses are located. Ablation essentially creates scars in the heart that stabilize any electrical short circuits.
Healthy lifestyle changes are always a good idea. Your risk for developing many diseases can be reduced by a healthy diet, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake and reducing stress have been shown to improve health in numerous studies. Any lifestyle changes that lower blood pressure (such as maintaining a normal weight) are likely to reduce the chances of developing atrial fibrillation.
KIMS, one of the best heart hospitals in Hyderabad, has a multidisciplinary specialty treatment group dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation – whether it is chronic (persistent) or paroxysmal (comes and goes). With being the best Atrial Fibrillation treatment in Hyderabad, we have seen thousands of patients. This experience and knowledge, combined with a caring staff, provides you with quality patient care.