Atrial Fibrillation Screening in Newton, NJ
Have you ever experienced the feeling of your heart skipping a beat? Or feeling like your heart is banging against your chest wall? You’re not alone. An estimated 5 million Americans live with an irregular heart rhythm, also known as atrial fibrillation or Afib.
What Happens During AFIB?
Your heart normally contracts and relaxes to a regular heartbeat. However, Afib causes the upper chambers (atria) to beat irregularly and out of correlation with the bottom chambers (the ventricles). The irregular heartbeat can cause no symptoms, or they can cause palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue.
Causes of Atrial Fibrillation
As you age, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors for Atrial Fibrillation because the chance of heart disease and related conditions like Atrial Fibrillation increases.
Risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Congenital or structural heart defects
It is also important to note that atrial fibrillation is more likely in men and in people who have had a heart attack. Lifestyle habits such as drinking large amounts of alcohol, having too much caffeine, or being extremely stressed can trigger atrial fibrillation as well.
Heart Palpitations and other Symptoms
Atrial Fibrillation causes some of the heart’s chambers to contract faster than normal and when this happens they may not be able to pump enough blood to the body.
Some people experience symptoms that may include:
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dizziness of lightheadedness
Can Afib Cause Long-Term Heart Damage?
Malfunctions such as Afib affect how the heart pushes oxygen-rich blood through the body. Because it impacts blood flow, there are some complications that can occur if people struggle with Afib for a long time:
- Other muscles and organs can lack oxygen-rich blood, which can result in a weakening of the heart
- Clots can form because blood isn’t moving properly through the body. Blood clots can cause strokes, and they also affect the brain.
- Heart palpitations and irregular heart rhythm can cause chest pains, especially in severe cases
Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation
In order to stop Afib from causing long-term damage, there are a few treatment options physicians might suggest, including:
- Rate control – This is done for people who have a fast heart rate, which is the most common symptom of Afib.
- Rhythm control – Restoring a normal heart rhythm is usually done with cardioversion, antiarrhythmic medications or ablation procedures.
- Stroke prevention – Physicians prescribe anticoagulants to reduce their patient’s risk of stroke
Schedule a Consultation
Contact our office in Newton, NJ if you’re struggling with complications from Afib. The physicians at Cardiology Associates of Sussex County will provide you with the proper care and treatment options. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 973-579-2100.