Did you know that September is AFib Awareness Month in the United States? Even otherwise healthy people can suffer from this heart condition, which is why it’s so important to spread awareness of this very common heart arrhythmia.

What is AFib?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) refers to a heart condition where the top chambers of the heart (known as the atria) pump blood at an incorrect pace (usually too fast). As a result, those with AFib tend to have very high heart rates. Those with AFib are also at a higher risk of other health problems, most notably stroke.

Signs and Symptoms

No matter what your age or overall health, it’s important to be on the lookout for potential signs of AFib in your day-to-day life. While two patients may not suffer the exact same symptoms, there are a few signs that are most common. These include:

  • Racing or fluttering heart
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Some people who have AFib develop no noticeable symptoms at all. It is important to have regular heart health screenings to spot signs of AFib that may be otherwise overlooked.

Treatment Options

There are plenty of viable treatment options available for those suffering with AFib. Treatment options must always be carefully tailored to suit a patient’s individual needs. One treatment for AFib is the prescription of beta blocker medications, which can help to regulate a heart arrhythmia. However, there are many reason why you may not choose the prescription route such as side effects, the hassle of getting pills, etc.

There are more permanent solutions to AFib. Medical procedures known as catheter ablation and cardioversion are relatively common. Catheter ablation has many benefits such as a high success rate, few complications, and a quick recovery time. Procedures such as ablation can lead to a better quality of life because they nearly completely relieve the symptoms associated with AFib.

When was the last time you had a heart screening to check for signs of AFib and other heart conditions? If you or a loved one are living with a heart rhythm disorder such as atrial fibrillation, contact Heart Rhythm Consultants. Dr. Dilip Mathew is board certified in Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology and has been serving patients in Sarasota and surrounding cities including Port Charlotte, Venice, Tampa and Sun City Center for over a decade.