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Updated on June 4, 2021

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) occurs when there is an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterised by the rapid and irregular beating.  AF usually begins as short periods of abnormal beating but may progress to become longer or even continuous over time.  AF is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia affecting between 2-3% of the population.

Symptoms

Some people may not have any symptoms in early or mlld cases but others may experience these following symptoms because the heart is not pumping blood efficiently.

  • Light headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Palpitations or chest pain

Click to view Sanofi video on Atrial Fibrillation 

Risk Factors

Diagnosis

ECG shows obvious irregular and fast heart rhythm

Classification of AF

Occasional or ParoxysmalRecurrent episodes which stop on their own within 7 days
PersistentRecurrent episodes lasting more than 7 days
Long Standing PersistentRecurrent episodes lasting more than 1 year
PermanentOn-going long term AF

Complications

If untreated, the frequency and severity of the AF may slowly get worse resulting in complications such as

Treatment of AF

Discuss the treatment options with your doctor to find a suitable treatment to provide relief for your symptoms AND reduce the risk of getting complications.

1. Medication

Heart medication is given to either control the heart rate to below 100 beats/minute or to reduce the frequency of paroxysmal AF and include;

  • Beta-blockers (such as Metoprolol, Bisoprolol or Nebivolol)
  • Calcium Channel Blockers (such as Diltiazem or Verapamil)

Anticoagulant Medication may also be given to reduce the risk of strokes.  These include Warfarin, Dabigatran (Pradaxa), Rivaroxaban (Xarelto), Edoxaban (Lixiana) and Apixaban (Eliquis). 

2. Cardioversion

Cardioversions uses electrical means to change the irregular heart beat back to normal rhythm.

3. Cardiac Ablation

Cardiac Ablation uses radio frequency ablations to destroy the abnormal electrical circuits that produce these arrhythmias

4. Pacemaker

Cardiac Pacemaker is a device which is inserted into the body to control the heart rate

5. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Remember to keep your follow-up appointments and
do your heart & blood tests regularly to monitor your heart condition

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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