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Cardiovascular

Atrial Fibrillation

Florida Hospital Ocala formerly Munroe Regional Medical Center provides complete care for atrial fibrillation (AFib) - the most common cause of irregular heartbeat.

The average heart beats regularly at 60-80 times per minute. With atrial fibrillation, the electrical signal becomes confused. This causes the atrium to become independent, working on their own. The irregular heart rate can then reach as high as 400 beats per minute, called fibrillation.

Symptoms of AFib include:

  • Palpitations
  • Flutter feeling or heart pounding
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Exercise intolerance

Risk factors for AFib include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypertension
  • Age 65 or above
  • Diabetes
  • Female
  • Stroke
  • Thromboembolism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Extreme stress
  • Excessive alcohol or caffeine

Treatments

The treatment for your AFib may be as simple as eliminating caffeine. If the cause is a thyroid issue, you can get treatment for the thyroid. Medication management, the use of a pacemaker, synchronized cardioversion, ablation or a combination of these things are all potential treatment options for rate and rhythm control. The treatment that’s right for you will be a decision between you and your Florida Hospital cardiologist. A structural heart consult may be needed to evaluate your specific condition and treatment options.

Prevention

Start exercising regularly, eat a healthy heart diet, manage high blood pressure, avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, maintain a healthy weight and stop smoking immediately. Even a few changes like these can make a big difference in your risk factors. Since AFib patients are at risk for blood clots which could lead to stroke, if you are concerned you might have Atrial Fibrillation, please call your physician immediately for a consultation.

Learn more here.