Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular heartbeat. If left untreated, atrial fibrillation can have a detrimental effect on heart function leading to heart failure, a greater risk of strokes, an impaired quality of life and in some cases a reduction in life expectancy.
While most cases of AF can be treated with medication, additional intervention may be required for patients with certain types and for those who have not experienced success with medications.
As one of the foremost atrial fibrillation specialists in Sydney, Dr Ajita Kanthan is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat AF cases. If you are experiencing symptoms of atrial fibrillation or you’d like more information regarding atrial fibrillation causes and treatment, get in contact with Dr Kanthan today.
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common types of heart rhythm disorders. It occurs when electrical signals trigger the atria (the top two chambers of the heart) to contract chaotically and irregularly. As a result, the heart beats erratically without efficiently pumping blood through the body.
Atrial Fibrillation is equally prevalent in men and women and more common in adults over the age of 60, though it can affect younger adults as well. The atrial fibrillation treatment you receive will depend on your overall condition and on which type of atrial fibrillation you fall under, whether that be paroxysmal, persistent or chronic.
What can trigger atrial fibrillation?
There is strong evidence to suggest that AF is more likely to occur in conjunction with other health conditions or brought on by certain lifestyle factors. These may include:
Heart conditions (congenital heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.)
Excessive alcohol intake
Drug or tobacco use
Certain viral infections
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
Atrial fibrillation treatments are determined based on a variety of factors including the type of AF and the severity of your symptoms.
Many cases of AF are treated using medications that stabilise the heartbeat or slow the heart rate. However, those who do not respond well to medication or who have a more serious type of AF may require additional treatments such as cardioversion, ablation therapy or a pacemaker.
What does it feel like to have atrial fibrillation?
While some people living with AF do not have any symptoms, others may experience:
Fatigue or shortness of breath
Incidents of fainting and dizziness
Is ventricular tachycardia genetic?
Certain types of ventricular tachycardia are genetic, such as those due to long QT syndrome, cardiomyopathy or catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT). If your family has a history of these type of VT, it is worth getting tested by a cardiologist.
When is a pacemaker needed for atrial fibrillation?
Occasionally, AF patients can have heart rates that run fast at times and slow at other times. A side effect of medications that are needed to slow down the fast heart rates, is that they can cause the heart rate to go too slow. When this happens a pacemaker is often implanted to stop the slow heart rates. It should be remembered that a pacemaker only stops slow heart rates and does not treat atrial fibrillation itself.
What AF treatments does Dr Ajita Kanthan offer in Sydney?
Dr Kanthan is one of the leading doctors of atrial fibrillation in Sydney, providing comprehensive radiation-free procedural techniques. You may expect your AF treatment to include various lifestyle modifications, medications and procedures.
As atrial fibrillation causes and treatments vary from person to person, your AF treatment plan with Dr Ajita Kanthan will be carefully tailored to your unique symptoms and needs. You can find our more