The heart is said to be the seat of emotions. We speak of our heart bursting with pride and joy, and our heart races when we’re with the one we love. We claim that our heart stops beating when we’re startled, and other people and situations can break our heart. Our heart leaps into our throat when we’re exhilarated, or skips a beat when we’re happy. We search our heart when we need direction, and say that our heart quivers with excitement. The heart may well be the seat of emotions. It is also the organ of life.
September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month. More than two million people in the United States suffer this condition. Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a type of irregular—or out-of-rhythm—heartbeat. It is the result of the two upper chambers of the heart, the atria, quivering rather than steadily beating. This condition interferes with blood flow and increases the risk of blood clots which can lead to stroke.
Even though AFib is a leading risk factor for stroke, it often is not viewed as a complex cardiac condition. Though one third of AFib patients will have a stroke at some time, only half of these patients understand that they’re at increased risk of stroke. This may be the result of a lack of recognition of the symptoms and of AFib going undiagnosed by health care professionals.
Atrial Fibrillation is a serious heart rhythm disorder and may lead to other physical issues resulting from an insufficient flow of blood. Risks for Atrial Fibrillation include:
- Having heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
- Age – most common in people over 60, but becoming more prevalent in younger patients
Stress is considered to be a major factor leading to AFib. Risks may be reduced through public education, diagnosis, treatment and proper management of AFib and its symptoms. Knowing how to manage this disorder can prevent a stroke.
Riverview Regional Medical Center remains committed to promoting the awareness of atrial fibrillation and to carrying out our strong commitment to care for and support those patients who suffer from this disease. With the latest in cardiac testing services and treatment for Atrial Fibrillation, and other medical conditions you may suffer, Riverview Regional offers you the highest quality care, peace of mind and a steady heartbeat. Contact us today at 615-735-1560 for all your healthcare needs.