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Understanding & Detecting AFib Symptoms
What are the signs and symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)?
If you've noticed your heart fluttering or racing unexpectedly when you’re resting, that a sign that you may have a condition called atrial fibrillation (AFib).
Symptoms of AFib include heart palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty exercising, anxiety, chest pain, and dizziness.
If you suspect that you may have AFib, you are not alone. AFib is the most common heart arrhythmia. Over 33 million people worldwide suffer from Atrial Fibrillation.
How do you know if you have AFib?
Know the Signs of AFib: What does an AFib episode feel like?
AFib can cause a wide variety of symptoms in patients.
Some patients with AFib may experience symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, and reduced ability to exercise.
Additional symptoms may include fluttering or thumping in the chest, weakness, faintness, confusion, sweating, and chest pressure.
AFib may occur rarely or every now and then, or it may become a persistent or permanent heart rhythm lasting for years.1 Everyone’s experience with AFib is different.
Patients are not paid for their testimonials. These symptoms are not exclusive. You may experience symptoms that are different from those described here. Contact your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room if you have, or experience a sudden onset, of these or other worrying symptoms.
You're not alone. Over 33 million people worldwide suffer from Atrial Fibrillation.
When to Seek Medical Attention for AFib
Treating AFib: When should I see a doctor or go to the hospital?
If you suspect that you may have AFib, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. AFib is a progressive disease that may get worse over time so early diagnosis and treatment is essential for overcoming this global epidemic.
If left untreated, AFib can lead to other conditions including heart failure, stroke and death. AFib becomes harder to treat as symptoms become more severe.
Listen to your body and find the right doctor. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Understanding Silent AFib
Silent AFib: Can you be in AFib without knowing it?
Despite all the current efforts, silent AFib is still widely under-diagnosed.2 One-third of people with AFib do not experience any symptoms. This is known as silent AFib.
Fortunately, new and advanced diagnostic tools are now widely available and can help to detect silent AFib.2
Types of Doctors for AFib
AFib Doctors: What types of doctors diagnose and treat AFib?
Many different doctors, including a primary care physician, cardiologist, and electrophysiologist may be involved in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation. After reviewing your health history and conducting a physical exam, your doctor may use an EKG, Holter and Event Monitors, or a Stress Test to diagnose AFib.1
Primary Care Physician
Practices general medicine, perform check-ups, and provide routine medical care.
Are often the first point of contact for many patients and may be involved the diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation.
Specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the cardiovascular system.
May refer patients to electrophysiologists and are often involved in management of Atrial Fibrillation.
Cardiac Electrophysiologist (EP)
A cardiologist with extensive training in heart arrhythmias. Specializes in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of heart arrhythmias, including Atrial Fibrillation and are the recommended cardiologist to perform a catheter ablation procedure.
Understanding EP: Specialized AFib Care with Heart Rhythm Experts
What are Cardiac Electrophysiologists (EPs)?
Electrophysiologists vs. Cardiologists
What training does a cardiac electrophysiologist (EP) have compared to a cardiologist?
A cardiologist has at least 10 years of medical training that includes 4 years of medical school, 3 years of training in internal medicine, and 3 or more of training in cardiovascular disease.3
A cardiac electrophysiologist is a specialized cardiologist that completes an additional 2 years of training beyond that required for board certification in cardiology. They are certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in the specialty of cardiovascular disease.
An electrophysiologist has the specialized education and experience needed to do advanced cardiac-related procedures to treat conditions such as atrial fibrillation.
What does a cardiac electrophysiologist (EP) do?
When is it time to consult an electrophysiologist?
Cardiac electrophysiologists test for, diagnose, and treat abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias. Electrophysiologists need know how the heart works, what kind of arrhythmias there are, and what may cause them.3
Electrophysiologists can provide special procedures such as cardiac catheter ablation to fix heart rhythm problems.
Your primary care doctor or cardiologist may refer you to a cardiac electrophysiologist. It is important to seek treatment with a cardiac electrophysiologist as soon as possible. If left untreated, AFib can lead to other conditions including heart failure, stroke and death.
Unbreakable Hearts: Stories of AFib Resilience & Recovery
After suffering from sleep apnea, John was diagnosed with AFib. He tried medications but they didn't work.
John sought help from an electrophysiologist and underwent a procedure called cardiac catheter ablation to treat his AFib.
Patients are not paid for their testimonials. These symptoms are not exclusive. You may experience symptoms that are different from those described here. Contact your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room if you have or experience a sudden onset of these or other worrying symptoms. Every patient's symptoms and recovery are different. Talk with your doctor about your treatment plan and what kind of recovery you can expect.
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References & Disclaimers
1. Atrial fibrillation. Department of Surgery - Atrial Fibrillation. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions--procedures/atrial-fibrillation.aspx
2. Barbarossa, A., Guerra, F., & Capucci, A. (2014). Silent Atrial Fibrillation: A Critical Review. Journal of Atrial Fibrillation, 7(3), 1138.
3. The Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist | UCLA Health Library, Los Angeles, CA. (2022). Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://healthinfo.uclahealth.org/Conditions/Heart/Understanding/134,240
Patients not paid for their testimonials. These symptoms are not exclusive. You may experience symptoms that are different from those described here. Contact your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room if you have, or experience a sudden onset, of these or other worrying symptoms.
As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Only a cardiologist or electrophysiologist can determine whether ablation is an appropriate course of treatment. There are potential risks including bleeding, swelling or bruising at the catheter insertion site, and infection. More serious complications are rare, which can include damage to the heart or blood vessels; blood clots (which may lead to stroke); heart attack, or death. These risks need to be discussed with your doctor and recovery takes time. The success of this procedure depends on many factors, including your physical condition and your body’s ability to tolerate the procedure. Use care in the selection of your doctors and hospital, based on their skill and experience.
The THERMOCOOL SMARTTOUCH® SF Catheter is indicated for the treatment of drug refractory recurrent symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) and for drug refractory recurrent symptomatic persistent AF (continuous AF > 7 days but < 1 year), refractory or intolerant to atleast 1 Class I or III AAD, when used with the CARTO® 3 System.
Important information: Prior to use, refer to the instructions for use supplied with this device for indications, contraindications, side effects, warnings and precautions.
Caution: US law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
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