Important Considerations in Atrial Fibrillation Management

Atrial Fibrillation Treatment for Occasional Symptoms

For people who have occasional episodes of atrial fibrillation (and no other health concerns associated with it), the only treatment needed may be to avoid the things that can cause the condition or make it worse, such as:
  • Stress
  • Tobacco products
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol.

Atrial Fibrillation Treatment for More Serious Cases

For more serious cases, several treatments for atrial fibrillation are available, including:
  • Medication
  • Electrical cardioversion, in which the rhythm of the heart is reset with an electrical shock
  • Changes to diet and lifestyle
  • Surgical procedures.

Things to Consider When Treating Atrial Fibrillation

It's a good idea to follow whatever treatment plan your healthcare providers recommend, even if you have few or no symptoms of atrial fibrillation. People who have no symptoms still have an increased risk of developing more serious health problems, such as a stroke. While atrial fibrillation alone may not be life-threatening, it should be monitored and the symptoms treated to help prevent other possible complications. You should learn how to take your pulse so that you can help monitor your condition. Ask your healthcare provider if you don't know how.

What If I Don't Receive Treatment?

It's always your choice whether or not to receive atrial fibrillation treatment. If you have symptoms and do not seek treatment, the symptoms may go away on their own -- or they may continue for the rest of your life.
As mentioned, atrial fibrillation by itself is not usually life-threatening, but it can increase the likelihood that you'll develop more serious health problems. Atrial fibrillation increases your risk of developing blood clots and having a stroke. And without treatment, less serious forms of atrial fibrillation can progress to more serious forms -- or even cause heart failure.
If you don't have any symptoms, you might not need any treatment. But the condition should still be monitored and any symptoms that develop at a later time should be treated to help prevent possible complications.
It's important to discuss your situation with your doctor before making any important decisions about your health.
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Atrial Fibrillation Information

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