Atrial fibrillation treatment improves quality of life for patients

Jun 14 8:00am | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (2)

Many people may be living with a serious heart condition and not know it. Because the signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation can be vague, people often think they are simply out of shape or just getting older.

Atrial fibrillation, sometimes referred to as "a-fib", is an irregular and often rapid heartbeat that can increase the risk of strokes, heart failure and other cardiac problems. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers — the atria — beat chaotically and irregularly, and out of coordination with the two lower chambers — the ventricles. Atrial fibrillation symptoms often include heart palpitations and shortness of breath.

Treatments for atrial fibrillation can include medications and other interventions that try to alter the heart's electrical system.

"Patients really do feel tremendous improvement in their quality of life when we keep them in normal rhythm," says Dr. Christopher DeSimone, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who specializes in cardiac electrophysiology. On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. DeSimone discusses symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Connect with others talking about a-fib and supporting one another in the Heart Rhythm Conditions support group.

What about sotorol?and amiodorone!they both have very scarey side effects…my husband is on sotorol,just went into heart block stage 3,almost died…now has pacemaker.your comments?

REPLY
@lily1943

What about sotorol?and amiodorone!they both have very scarey side effects…my husband is on sotorol,just went into heart block stage 3,almost died…now has pacemaker.your comments?

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Hi Lily, I can imagine you are frightened after having almost lost your husband to heart blockage. And now your concern is about the medication he takes. Are you able to talk about your concerns with your husband's cardiologist? Do you accompany your husband to his appointments?

You may wish to connect with other members who are also dealing with a-fib in the Heart Rhythm Conditions support group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/heart-rhythm-conditions/

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