The heart of a normal person is known to beat at a certain average rate (60 to 100 beats per minutes). A person with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) has an irregular heart beat (100 to 175 beats per minutes). This is due to a glitch in the heart electrical system. Due to that, the upper chambers of the heart quiver. The quivering of the upper chambers entrains the lower chambers to beat at an irregular pace. In the long run there might be a risk to heart failure or even stroke. Here is a guide on how to watch out for it.
Watch out for your pulse
In most cases you might not have to deal with any serious warning signs that will make you think of AFib. Little things like a change in your pulse may be an indication. You might also want to watch out for the feeling of a racing or pounding heart and chest pains. As a habit you should check your pulse on monthly basis. If you are over 40 then you should take your pulse very seriously. A monthly check wouldn’t hurt.
Have you started feeling dizzy?
As a result of an irregular heartbeat, your body will start reflecting it over time in the form of dizziness, breathlessness and fatigue. You may even start fainting. In a case like that, a visit to the doctor is advised.
Should you seek for any emergency care?
An increase in the heartbeat does not necessarily mean you need an emergency care. There are many other activities you get involved with that can increase the heartbeat. That said if you feel severe chest pain coupled with feeling of fainting then you might want to call 911 before it’s too late.
What you can do to avoid AFib
Even though there are certain risk factors that you can’t control, your lifestyle will play an important role in avoiding AFib. You need to avoid drinking too much alcohol. You need to eat healthy food to avoid getting overweight. There are certain drugs that are also known to affect the heart, drugs like albuterol. You should also avoid using illegal drugs and stimulants.
Get a diagnosis
If you suspect you are having a case of AFib you need to request for a diagnosis. The electrocardiogram is the tool used by doctors to record the electrical activity of the heart. The test can be taken at your doctor’s office or he may request that you wear a certain device that will measure your heart electrical activity for 24 hours. The electrocardiograph, which is the reading that comes out of the electrocardiogram will then be used to determine whether or not it is indeed a case of Atrial Fibrillation.
In case you have Atrial Fibrillation
A lot of people will find that AFib actually has no significant impact on their daily lives. Some unlucky ones may find it difficult to deal with their daily activities because they feel tired, experience difficulty breathing or feel like they are about to faint. Whatever the case it is important that people with Atrial Fibrillation take measures to make sure that they don’t end up having a stroke.