If you’ve been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the heart rhythm disturbance that affects 3-5% of people over the age of 65, you know exactly what it feels like. Many AF patients describe a feeling like “a fish flopping” or “drums pounding” in the chest. But unless you’ve been in AF, it’s difficult to describe the symptoms. The problem is, Atrial Fibrillation significantly increases the risk for stroke. And if a person doesn’t know what AF feels like, they can’t tell when they’re in danger. Untreated AF can also decrease quality of life and physical stamina, and, in some cases, it can even weaken the heart muscle itself.
That’s why the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) has launched a television and radio campaign to educate the public about AF, its symptoms and its warning signs. The Public Service Announcement, dubbed “A-Fib Feels Like…” began airing on television stations in the U.S. in May. According to HRS, the campaign is “designed to help the public understand what AF feels like, help them recognize symptoms and to encourage them to seek the support of a doctor to discuss possible treatment options.” The Society has also designated September as AF Month. Check back right here for more info on that in the coming months.
The good news is, there are a variety of treatment options available for AF patients, including mediation, catheter ablation, surgery, and pacemaker therapy. To request an appointment with one of the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute’s AF expert physicians, or to simply get more information on AFib from on of our nurses, fill out our on-line Request an Appointment form or visit the “Atrial Fibrillation” section of the Heart Rhythm Society’s website.
~ Jamie LaRue, RN