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Elderly Advice

potential trouble with atrial fibrillation


Atrial fibrillation, or more commonly referred to as AF or A-Fib, is not just an old person health condition. AF can happen to anyone at any age.

What is atrial fibrillation?

AF is an arrhythmia or problem with the rate or rhythm of the heart. An arrhythmia causes an irregular rhythm or the heart to beat too fast or slow.

Most people with A-Fib do not seek the treatment they need. Symptoms and signs should not be ignored. Recognizing the signs of an abnormal heartbeat will help prevent conditions from escalating into more serious health complications. Atrial fibrillation dramatically increases your chances of suffering from a stroke.

People with AF are 5 times more likely to experience a stroke.

Here are 5 Signs of potential trouble with atrial fibrillation

1. Racing or irregular heartbeat when resting

It is normal to experience a faster heartbeat during activity; however, your heart rate should not increase or beat faster when sedentary or at rest. This may be a sign your medication is not controlling the condition properly or some other underlying problem. A racing heart for no real reason should not be ignored. If you detect this, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.

2. Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

Shortness of breath or trouble breathing is a common symptom of atrial fibrillation and can be normal during exertion. If this occurs during light activity and with an increased heartbeat, you should contact your physician immediately.

3. Extreme fatigue

Extreme fatigue, after activity or in general, can be an indication your heart is working too hard. Controlling stress and sleeping well are extremely important if you notice this. Talking with a doctor can help resolve the cause of fatigue.

4. Lightheadedness

Low blood pressure is a common side affect of atrial fibrillation medications, and this can cause lightheadedness or dizziness. This is another sign your your medications might need to be adjusted. Monitoring your blood pressure at home and contacting a doctor when readings are low is important.

5. Lower leg swelling

Edema (the medical term for swelling) occurs when blood vessels leak fluids into the surrounding tissues. Lower leg swelling is a good indication your heart is not functioning as well as it could be. If this happens, elevate your legs above the heart and contact a doctor if the swelling does not go away.

Prevention and taking proper precaution is the best way to keep you healthy.

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