Your heart has four cameras: two in the front and two in the back. But when these cameras stop working together, doctors say it's when patients are at risk for atrial fibrillation. "Atrial fibrillation, which is the most common arrhythmia that occurs in people, is a situation in which the back chambers stop beating," explained Dr. Paul DiGiorgi, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Lee Health.
While millions of Americans live with A-Fib, many do not know they have it. "Sometimes you go in and out of A-Fib and you do not even feel it, many other people notice it right away, patients present very differently," Dr. DiGiorgi said.
Patients who experience symptoms of A-Fib may feel shortness of breath, heart palpitations, fatigue or even faint. "Unfortunately, patients who do not know they have A-Fib are sometimes present for the first time with a stroke," he said.
A-Fib is one of the heart diseases that do not receive adequate treatment, but an EKG test can determine whether patients live with the disease. "The older you are, the more likely you are to have it. "It is related to other problems, such as hyperthyroidism, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea," said Dr. DiGiorgi.
Obesity can also put patients at risk of developing A-fib, so doctors say that if patients can improve their lifestyle, they can often reduce their risk. "Things like quitting smoking, controlling your high blood pressure, controlling your diabetes, controlling your caffeine intake and complying with sleep apnea, these are all the main components for the success or failure of any treatment," he said.
Knowing your risk of A-Fib can help you get the treatment you need.
See more video segments of Health Matters at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/
Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL, is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its experience, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we have provided our community with personalized preventive health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring for people. Inspiring care
Video credits to Lee Health YouTube channel