Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and heart failure are increasing in prevalence worldwide and often associated with poor outcomes. However, some people are not aware they have atrial fibrillation until it is detected when a doctor is listening to the heart with a stethoscope. If you have difficulty breathing, or have chest pains lasting more than a few minutes, it is recommended to seek medical help. Someone with A-fib can still live a long and active life with treatment from their doctor and self-management.
Treatment may include medications, therapy, surgery, or catheter procedures, in order to reset the heart rhythm, control heart rate, and prevent blood clots that can lead to strokes.
Self-management includes following a heart-healthy lifestyle with changes such as:
- Eating heart-healthy foods
- Exercising regularly
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol
- Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control
- Get follow-up care
Atrial fibrillation [Internet] Mayo Clinic. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350630