October 31, 2014
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Atrial Fibrillation

 Health Home >> Atrial Fibrillation >> Living with atrial fibrillation 


FAQs

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation? The most common symptom is heart palpitations (an irregular and rapid heartbeat, typically experienced as a rapid thumping in the chest). Other symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, and chest pain.. Learn more about symptoms here.

How do I know if I have atrial fibrillation? Your doctor can make the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. If you have symptoms (see above), see your doctor, who will perform some tests and ask you questions to determine if you have atrial fibrillation. If you do not have symptoms but are concerned about whether you have atrial fibrillation, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. Learn more about diagnosing AF here.

What treatments are available for atrial fibrillation? Medications to control heart rate and heart rhythm are used. These include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, digitalis, and anti-arrhythmics. Medical procedures, such as electrical cardioversion or catheter ablation, that help restore the normal heart rhythm are also used. Learn more about treating AF here.

I am managing my atrial fibrillation. But when should I see my doctor? It is important to see your doctor if:

  • You experience marked weakness or tiredness, dizziness, fainting or loss of consciousness, difficulty breathing or chest pain
  • You feel unusually unwell
  • You experience episodes of bleeding
  • You are concerned about side effects from your medicines (in this situations, you can also talk to your pharmacist)

Can atrial fibrillation be cured? For some people, yes - treatment can cure atrial fibrillation and return their heartbeats to normal. For other people, a cure may not be possible, but atrial fibrillation can be managed successfully with treatment.


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