The CDC estimates that the number of Americans suffering from atrial fibrillation will rise to 12.1 million by 2030. With the number of AFib patients growing every year, it is more important than ever to discuss the common symptoms and treatments for the heart condition, especially during AFib Awareness Month.
Why is September Afib Awareness Month?
In 2009, StopAFib.org worked with medical society partners to encourage the United States Senate to designate September as National AFib Awareness Month. Many patients who suffer from AFib do not experience any symptoms. These patients live unaware of the dangers untreated atrial fibrillation can cause.
AFib treatment is necessary to improve patients’ quality of life and decrease the risk for stroke. Your chance of developing AFib is more likely than you may think. Adults 55 and over have a one-in-three risk for developing atrial fibrillation.
During September, take the time to discuss how to identify common atrial fibrillation symptoms with friends and family members. The sooner a person is diagnosed, the sooner they can seek proper treatment. Raising awareness for AFib in September can help millions of people live happier and healthier lives.
How Do I Spot AFib?
Understanding the most common risk factors and symptoms for AFib can help you spot it quickly and seek treatment as soon as possible. Unfortunately, many symptoms for AFib can be confused with other conditions, so it’s important to seek medical advice when you begin to experience symptoms.
Consult your doctor if you have noticed an irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations, lightheadedness, dizziness, faintness or confusion, fatigue, chest pain, or discomfort. AFib episodes are often triggered by excessive alcohol consumption, stress, anxiety, and poor sleep.
It is also important to be aware of factors that can put you at an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. Those who suffer from high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, hyperthyroidism, obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, and lung disease are at an increased risk of developing AFib.
How is AFib Treated?
When left untreated, AFib symptoms and effects worsen over time. Medications and ablation procedures can reset or control the heart’s rhythm to prevent an irregular heartbeat and reduce the risk for stroke for many patients.
Catheter ablation is a non-surgical procedure that blocks abnormal electrical impulses causing the irregular heartbeat. Cryoablation is an alternative cold-based therapy that has been proved to perform more effectively than medication.
Many who suffer from AFib use medication daily to prevent blood clots and reduce their risk for stroke. The WATCHMAN device can serve as a long-term alternative to drug therapy for many patients.
This month, take some time to discuss AFib with your loved ones. By raising awareness for this common condition, more people can find treatment to improve their quality of life. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, schedule an appointment today with the cardiac electrophysiologists at Heart Rhythm Consultants.
About Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A.
The experienced electrophysiologists of Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. have been serving West Florida including Sarasota, Venice, Tampa, Port Charlotte, and Sun City Center for over 15 years. Our specialty cardiologists, or EP doctors, help patients manage their abnormal heart rhythm conditions, whether they suffer from arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AFib), or other irregular heartbeats.
Dr. Dilip J. Mathew, Dr. Antonio Moretta, and Dr. Rajesh Malik perform arrhythmia treatments like cardiac ablation, cryoablation, and implanting pacemakers or defibrillators. Dr. Mathew has performed nearly 5,000 complex cardiac ablations. View our office locations in Sarasota, Port Charlotte, and Venice, Florida.