Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation Ankara

The palpitations, which are also known as “Tachycardia” in the medical language, are a condition that many people experience at least once in their lifetime. Heart palpitation is a natural reaction of our body in situations such as stress, excessive excitement after exercise. However, in some cases, arrhythmia in the heart; It appears as a pathological disturbance, not a physiological response. The condition we call “Atrial Fibrillation” (AF) is one of them. The incidence of atrial fibrillation, one of the most common heart rhythm disorders, increases with age. However, due to the increasing frequency of cardiovascular diseases in recent years, it is also frequently encountered in young individuals. In the first initial stage, sometimes there is a discomfort that goes away on its own within 1-2 hours, but it should definitely be considered. In the later stages of the disease, AF attacks become more frequent and prolonged. AF can have serious consequences in any age group. It is a condition that must be followed closely in order to protect heart health and minimize vital risks, especially in elderly individuals with additional heart problems. For detailed information about atrial fibrillation and other types of tachycardia, you can contact Prof. Basri Amasyalı.

What is Atrial Fibrillation (AF)?

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that originates from the atria of the heart. It is one of the most common heart rhythm disorders. Its incidence increases with age and is found in 5-10% of people in their 70s and 80s. In atrial fibrillation, there is an irregularity in the stimuli that keep the heart healthy and working in a certain order. In a normal human heart, electrical signals produced in the right atrium spread equally and in a certain order to both chambers of the heart and are transmitted to the ventricle from there. The atria of the heart are called “atria” in medical language. In AF patients, on the other hand, there is a problem in the conduction of electrical messages in the atria in a certain order, and tens of hundreds of independent short circuits occur especially in the left atrium. The places where these short circuits occur are the problem areas where AF originates. This are called arrhythmia focus or focuses that cause AF for short. An increased number of stimuli from tens or hundreds of different focuses (these are at the rate of 300 – 600 beats per minute) compete and collide with each other, resulting in a chaotic irregular rhythm in the atria. Fortunately, not all of these impulses are advanced to the ventricles of the heart. Think about what would happen if the rapid rhythm at 300-600 per minute in the atria progressed to the ventricles. Unfortunately, life would come to an end. Since the ventricles would not have time to contract, they would only vibrate and the pulse and blood pressure would reset and life would end in 30 seconds. Fortunately, a mechanism that controls the ventricles of our heart, like a fuse, comes into play. The structure that undertakes this insurance function is called “AV node” in medical language. This AV node region is located in the center of the heart at the junction of the ventricles and atria and controls the speed of the impulse passing through the ventricles. The maximum stimulation rate allowed by the AV node is between 150 and 200 per minute. In other words, our ventricles beat at most 150-200 beats per minute during AF, so our heart rate can go up to 200 at most. This figure is not life-threatening, or at least gives the person enough time to get medical attention. Normally, the rate of beats per minute in a healthy human heart is between 60 and 100 during the resting period. Thus, a person with AF often feels an intense and irregular heartbeat despite the absence of any stimuli. What I want to say about irregular palpitations is that there is no certain order in the rhythm of the heart from beat to beat. On the contrary, patients sometimes express this as feeling as if the heart accelerates from time to time and then suddenly my pulse stops.

What Are the Risks of Atrial Fibrillation?

Although atrial fibrillation is a condition usually seen in the elderly, it can also occur in younger individuals who do not have any heart disease. Atrial fibrillation can cause serious health problems, especially in elderly individuals. While young people feel less affected by AF, palpitations can pose serious risks to the health of the elderly. The main health problems caused by atrial fibrillation are:

  • When the atrial fibrillation left untreated, it can cause an enlarged heart or heart failure.
  • Atrial fibrillation significantly increases the likelihood of heart-related stroke (stroke) in elderly individuals. In AF patients, the probability of a clot in the brain is much higher than in a healthy person. A clot in the brain can cause a stroke. For this reason, atrial fibrillation is considered an important disease that creates a risk of stroke in all age groups.
  • In the people with AF, the pumping power of the heart can be reduced. This can cause the heart to not fully perform its function. If atrial fibrillation continues for many years without treatment, it can weaken the heart and cause heart failure.

What Are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)?

Atrial fibrillation is a very common arrhythmia disease. In the elderly population, approximately ⅓ of the patients who apply to hospitals with the complaints of heart palpitations and rhythm disorders are AF patients. The most prominent complaint seen in patients is heart palpitations. However, different physiological responses can occur depending on palpitation. These are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue quickly
  • Dizziness and rarely fainting.

Ankara Atrial Fibrillation Treatment

Intended in the treatment of atrial fibrillation; It is the normal beat rate of the heart and keeping the heart rate under control. Different treatment methods can be preferred for this. At this point, the decisive factor is the  age and physiological condition of the patient. Approximately 75-80% of AF patients are over the age of 65. For this reason, the appropriate treatment is planned by evaluating the other diseases and general health status of the patients.

For more information about atrial fibrillation treatment in Ankara, you can contact our clinic and make an appointment.

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