Regaining Rhythm

Regaining Rhythm

Innovations in Atrial Fibrillation Care

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a disorder common among most cardiac patients in India. It occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) experience chaotic electrical signals, causing them to quiver or fibrillate instead of contracting properly. This irregular heartbeat disrupts the normal blood flow through the heart and can lead to various health complications.

What Happens During Atrial Fibrillation?

What Happens During Atrial Fibrillation?

During atrial fibrillation, the electrical signals in the atria become disorganized, resulting in rapid and irregular contractions. This irregular rhythm can cause blood to pool in the atria, potentially leading to the formation of blood clots. A blood clot traveling from the heart to an artery in the brain causes a stroke.

In addition, an irregular heartbeat can decrease the heart’s pumping efficiency, affecting the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the body’s organs and tissues. Over time, this strain on the heart can result in heart failure or other cardiovascular complications.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

The symptoms of atrial fibrillation vary from person to person. Some individuals may not experience any noticeable symptoms, while others may experience:


A rapid or irregular heartbeat sensation


Feeling tired even with little exertion

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of Breath
Difficulty breathing, especially during physical activity

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Dizziness or lightheadedness
Feeling faint or dizzy

Chest Pain

Chest Pain
Discomfort or pressure in the chest region

It’s important to note that not all cases of AF present with symptoms, making it crucial for individuals at risk to undergo regular check-ups and screenings.

Why Atrial Fibrillation matters?

Why Atrial Fibrillation matters?

Atrial fibrillation matters because it poses significant health risks and can impact a person’s quality of life. Some of the reasons why it is essential to address AF include:

  • Increased Risk of Stroke: AF significantly raises the risk of stroke, with some studies suggesting that people with AF are five times more likely to have a stroke than those without the condition. Managing AF and reducing stroke risk is crucial for long-term health.
  • Impaired Quality of Life: Fatty, shortness of breath, and palpitations can greatly affect daily activities and overall well-being.
  • Risk of Heart Failure: The irregular & rapid heartbeat associated with AF can weaken the heart muscle over time, potentially leading to heart failure, during which the heart cannot pump blood effectively.
  • Potential Complications: AF can also lead to other complications, such as blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and other heart rhythm disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the options for atrial fibrillation treatment?

Treatment options for atrial fibrillation include medication to control heart rate and rhythm, blood thinners to reduce the blood clots risk & strokes, electrical cardioversion to restore normal rhythm, catheter ablation to eliminate abnormal electrical pathways, and in some cases, surgical interventions.

Can lifestyle changes help manage atrial fibrillation?

Yes, certain lifestyle changes can help manage atrial fibrillation. It includes maintaining a healthy weight with regular exercise, managing stress levels, avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, and quitting smoking.

How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

Atrial fibrillation is diagnosed through various tests, including an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, stress test, and Holter monitor. These tests help evaluate the heart’s electrical activity and structure.

Can atrial fibrillation be cured?

While there is currently no known cure for atrial fibrillation, the condition can often be managed effectively through medication, lifestyle changes, and medical procedures. Treatment aims to control symptoms, restore normal heart rhythm, and reduce the risk of complications.

Who is at risk of Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation can affect anyone, but certain factors increase the risk, including advanced age, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, and a family history of Atrial Fibrillation.

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Disclaimer: The information presented by Boston Scientific Corporation is for educational purposes only and does not recommend self-management of health issues. The information should not be treated as comprehensive and does not intend to provide diagnosis, treatment or any medical advice. Individual results may vary and hence, it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options.