Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Dangers of Atrial Fibrillation

The aging body, compounded with the increasing risk for stroke, contributes to different heart conditions. Among them are arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation. It is the most common disturbance of heart rhythm that affects about 2.6 million Americans. The incidence of AF increases with age as well as with the accompanying heart conditions and stroke. AF usually develops over the age of 40 in about 25 percent of men and women. The risk increases with age usually between the ages 65 and 85 over the whole population group. Miami cardiologist offers promising treatment to abnormal heart rhythms with special medical interventions and other procedures that would effectively address heart conduction conditions.

The sinoatrial (SA) node is the main pacemaker of the heart that is located in the right atrium, the right upper chamber of the heart. This determines the normal rhythm and the heart rate which is normally between 80-100 beats per minute. In the case of AF, there are rapid electrical signals originating from the cells of the right atrium that bypass the SA node. This would eventually produce a rapid and irregular heart rate. University of Miami Cardiology has noted classical signs of extremely high heart rate due to AF which include loss of consciousness (syncope), lightheadedness or dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

A serious case should be considered in AF and it must receive urgent medical attention. With this heart rhythm, blood clots may form due to the slow movement and the pooling of blood in the left atrium. When pieces of these clots break and travel through circulation to the brain arteries, stroke may occur. Clots may block cerebral arteries impeding blood supply to the brain tissue. It won’t take long for any signs of disorientation and loss of consciousness to manifest in patient especially with an embolic type of stroke.

Cases of AF should always receive special medical attention from Miami international cardiology consultants. With their thorough knowledge and interventions on managing heart rhythms, AF can be relieved saving the patient from any greater risk of developing complications. With persistent AF, doctors can prescribe medications to control the condition and convert it to a normal heart rhythm. Special procedures involved in the management of AF include electric shock or ablation therapy. Cases of abnormal heart rhythm should always be reported to physicians for proper management. You must be able to avoid increasing the risk for any complication of a persistent abnormality in your heart function.

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