Understanding Atrial Fibrillation
Rapid and irregular beating of your heart could mean that you are suffering from atrial fibrillation. The atria and the ventricles beat rhythmically and when this does not happen, atrial fibrillation occurs. You could either be suffering from temporary atrial fibrillation or permanent atrial fibrillation. Temporary atrial fibrillation comes and goes all on its own. However, you require treatment if the episodes do not go away. As much as atrial fibrillation is thought of as being harmless, one needs to seek medical advice if they suspect they have this condition because failure to address it could lead to more complications in future such as heart failure.
The main concern with atrial fibrillation is that it could lead to the formation of blood clots in the upper chambers of the heart which could spread to other organs in the body causing ischemia.
Doctors look at atrial fibrillation in a group of four, occasional atrial fibrillation, long-standing persistent, persistent and permanent atrial fibrillation.
If you have been getting these episodes for a week with each episode taking a few minutes or hours, then you most likely have occasional atrial fibrillation. Those with persistent atrial fibrillation need treatment for their heart rates to go back to normal. In long-standing atrial fibrillation, yoir symptoms last for more than a year.
If you are aware of the beating of your heart, have heart palpitations, are lightheaded, have chest discomfort and at times abdominal pains, you need to get yourself checked for atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is more common in older adults than in the young ones. Studies show that atrial fibrillation is diagnosed as the cause of strokes in older adults in older adults because the condition does not have any symptoms prior to that. A stroke will occur when the blood clots formed in the upper chambers of the heart because of atrial fibrillation move to the brain.
Teens are less likely to get atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation can be diagnosed easier in teens than in older adults. The most common symptoms in teens with atrial fibrillation are abdominal pains and rapid and irregular heartbeats. Atrial fibrillation is less dangerous in teens than it is in older adults since their hearts are stronger and healthier. Exercising and drug and alcohol use often trigger atrial fibrillation in teens.
There are a number of atrial fibrillation prevention measures. To prevent yourself from getting atrial fibrillation, ensure that you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. You also need to avoid taking alcohol and drinks with caffeine. Avoid things that could trigger your anger or bring you a lot of stress because this is also a cause of increased heart rates. It is important to note that some cold and cough medication cause rapid heart rates and you should therefore take them with caution.