What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. It increases the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart. If the clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.
People with Atrial Fibrillation are 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke. Yet 66% of AFib strokes can be averted with treatment.
What causes Atrial Fibrillation?
With Atrial Fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers will contract randomly and sometimes at high speed to the point where the heart muscle cannot relax properly between contractions.
Normally, the muscular walls will contract to force blood out and around the body, then relax so the heart can fill with blood again.
The cause of this is not fully known, but tends to affect people over the age of 65. It can be triggered by certain situations, such as drinking alcohol in excess, and smoking. There is no hard and fast rule however, as perfectly healthy people can succumb to Atrial Defibrillation.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling faint
Treating Atrial Fibrillation
With appropriate treatment, the risk of a stroke can be substantially reduced.
it is possible to be treated by your GP, and be given blood thinning medications to reduce the likelihood of blood clots. Anticoagulant medicines make the blood take longer to clot, making it a vital part of helping prevent strokes.
In more extreme cases, you may be referred to a Cardiologist, or more specifically, a cardiac Electrophysiologist. They will focus on your heart’s timing, electrical system, or diagnosing and treating irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias.
Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation
As is fairly standard, the main way to prevent Atrial Fibrillation is by maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes exercising, avoiding excessive drinking, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet.
If you have concerns about your heart rate and blood pressure, visit your GP. They may recommend purchasing a blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on certain levels. Make an appointment with your GP if you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat or your heart rate is consistently lower than 60 or above 100.
A&D AFib+ Technology in Blood Pressure Monitors
The TM-2441 and TM-2440 are both compact & lightweight Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors, which incorporate A&D’s latest technology. This ABPM range is validated in accordance with the new ISO810601-2 protocol, and the blood pressure accuracy is proven to be +/-3mmHg.
The new, unique Afib+ technology allows patient screening for both Irregular HeartBeat and Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).
The A&D UA-767S-W and UA-767S sets the standard for personal use. It benefits from 2nd generation IHB technology, which now measures the frequency of IHB (Irregular Heart Beat) detection – shown by icons and divided into different grades. This now enables the user/clinician to see how often IHB has been detected – indicating the level of risk to the patient.