Atrial fibrillation is where electrical signals that affect the heart's rhythm become disrupted causing the top chambers of the heart to move in a quivering motion rather than the usual pumping action.
What is atrial fibrillation (AF)?
For most people, having atrial fibrillation will have some effect on their quality of life. Atrial fibrillation is a common heart condition that is seen increasingly with age, especially in people over the age of 60. The most common effects include:
- Palpitations (a fluttering or thumping feeling in the chest or throat)
- Shortness of breath
- Light-headedness or fainting
- Chest pain or heaviness in the chest
- Anxiety or feeling generally unwell
- Reduced exercise capacity
For most people, the ability to enjoy a great quality of life is their top priority. Our goal is to help you understand AF and if required, with your care team, create a personalised treatment plan to get the best outcome for the underlying condition and your overall quality of life.
Types of AF
Different people can experience different types of AF.
Short, intermittent episodes of AF which start and stop spontaneously without treatment, but can last for several hours or even days.
Continuous pattern of AF which does not return to normal rhythm on its own. This must be medically treated.
Pattern of continuous AF has been present for 12 months or longer.
Looking out for your wellbeing
Some people can go through life with AF and have little or no health problems from the condition but for others it can lead to a weakening of the heart muscle and potential heart failure as well as worsening of any existing heart problems.
One of the greatest health risks from AF is a stroke. People with a current or past diagnosis of AF are at increased risk of having a stroke. However, there are treatments and lifestyle changes that your care team will be happy to talk you through that will reduce the risk.
Our cardiovascular disease specialists
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To give you the best care we can, we have the largest group of privately practicing cardiologists in Australia.
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