5 Tips To Understand Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Disease
Types of Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation can be classified in to 3 different types based on the intensity and duration of symptoms:
1) Paroxysmal Atrial fibrillation is when the person experiences symptoms of irregular heartbeat repeatedly throughout life. Such episodes usually resolve on their own and do not require any treatment. But such people are at a high risk of progressing towards permanent atrial fibrillation.
2) Persistent Atrial fibrillation is a condition when the heart keeps beating irregularly for more than 48 hours and it cannot normalize without receiving medical treatment.
3) Permanent Atrial fibrillation denotes the cases with the worst prognosis and heart disorder has now become permanent and does not respond to any sort of medications.
Are You At Risk of Atrial Fibrillation?
Just like any other heart disease, your risk of developing AFib will increase as you age, especially beyond the 60s. Other factors that increase your risk to develop this heart disease are listed here:
- Any kind of heart disease like Coronary heart disease, Sick Sinus Syndrome, Heart Failure, Rheumatic heart disease, defects of the heart that may be congenital or structural, infections involving the heart like pericarditis.
- High blood pressure.
- Lung diseases
- Sleep apnea
- Metabolic syndrome
- Too much intake of caffeine and alcohol (binge drinking episodes)
- Steroid therapy for some inflammatory conditions or Asthma
- Genetic factors
What Can You Do To Prevent Atrial Fibrillation?
The basic step in preventing Atrial fibrillation is like preventing any other health disorder, i.e. to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This includes healthy eating habits like avoiding junk food, processed foods and eating more of fresh and green vegetables, fruits and nuts. Also avoid excesses of alcohol, caffeine and smoking. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy body weight.
Other than that, if you are suffering from any heart disease, hyperthyroidism, cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure etc, you should take regular medications and appropriate precautions as suggested by your doctor.