An atrial fibrillation diagnosis is usually not life-threatening, especially in people who are healthy. It’s often very treatable and 30% of people with Afib report not experiencing any symptoms at all.1 Because of the advancements in early-detection screening, those with Afib can lead long, healthy lives with the proper treatment.
However, Afib does become more dangerous in people older than 65 years. Afib symptoms in elderly individuals are often more prevalent because of a previous medical history of high blood pressure, lung disease like COPD, diabetes, or other types of cardiovascular disease.
Is there a cure for Afib?
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heart rhythm where the heart’s upper chambers are out of sync with its lower chambers. This irregularity means blood is not being pumped out effectively causing blood to pool at the bottom of the heart – which may cause clots. These clots can get pumped into arteries and block blood flow to the brain that can lead to stroke or heart failure.
Those with Afib report symptoms of lightheadedness, a fluttering sensation or pain in the chest, fatigue, shortness of breath, and weakness. While other individuals, don’t report any symptoms at all.
While there is no cure for Afib, it can be managed through a variety of treatments including different medications and procedures.
What are atrial fibrillation treatment options?
While Afib is a life-long condition, your doctor will develop a personalized plan based on your age, any underlying conditions, your current medical history, and the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe blood thinners or medication to control heart rate or prevent blood clots. Procedures such as electrical cardioversion or catheter ablations are also viable options for some.
Who should get screened for Afib?
If you fit these criteria, it’s important to schedule a screening once a year to reduce the chance of complications and to avoid prolonged stress to the heart. Your doctor may request more frequent screenings based on your medical history or symptoms. The best thing you can do for your long-term health is detect Afib early to prevent damage and complications.
While Afib symptoms may initially seem mild for many, it can make you 5 times as likely to have a stroke.2 At Life Line Screening, we conduct a 6-lead EKG designed to identify atrial fibrillation. It’s painless, non-invasive and typically only last about 15 minutes.
An atrial fibrillation screening is just 1 part of our 5-screening package to identify risks of stroke and cardiovascular disease during 1 appointment. Screenings are easy to schedule and are conducted by trained technicians dedicated to helping you stay up to date on your health. Pick from over 14,000 locations to find one close to you.
Schedule a screening online or give us a call at 800.718.0961. We’d love to help.
1 American Heart Association Journals https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circulationaha.111.069450
2 American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/atrial-fibrillation/what-is-atrial-fibrillation-afib-or-af