The Brain and Spine Institute is made up of experts in the field of neuroscience in order to bring patients the best healthcare in East Tennessee for a full range of neurological diseases and disorders.
More than two million people in the United States suffer from atrial fibrillation (also known as AFib or AF), reports the American Heart Association.
There are more than 300,000 new cases of atrial fibrillation diagnosed each year. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat, affecting both men and women and showing an increasing prevalence with age. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer from atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) that usually involves a rapid heart rate in which the upper heart chambers (atria) are stimulated to contract in a very disorganized and abnormal manner, which disrupts the heart’s ability to pump blood. The condition can be caused by impulses which are transmitted to the ventricles in an irregular fashion or by some impulses failing to be transmitted. This makes the ventricles beat irregularly, which leads to an irregular (and usually fast) pulse in atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke fivefold, and is a major contributor to the development of congestive heart failure as well as more serious, life-threatening arrhythmias. However, atrial fibrillation is controllable with proper treatment.
There are four main types of AF.
Underlying risk factors and causes of atrial fibrillation / arrhythmias include dysfunction of the sinus node but also may be caused by the following.
Also, avoid binge drinking and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treating underlying conditions.
There are several tests that help doctors evaluate atrial fibrillation and determine which type of treatment the patient should receive.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center offers the Mini-Maze Procedure, a type of minimally invasive surgery that brings hope to atrial fibrillation patients for whom no reasonable cure existed.
Until recently, there have been few treatments for atrial fibrillation. In some cases, atrial fibrillation may need to be treated with emergency treatment to convert the arrhythmia to normal (sinus) rhythm. Atrial fibrillation accounts for approximately one-third of hospital admissions due to arrhythmias.
Treatment options include the following:
Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition. It is possible to manage and even cure AF with proper medical care. There are options available by discussing your condition with a knowledgeable healthcare professional. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and other underlying disorders.