Atrial Fibrillation

If you experience an inability to perform an everyday activity because of feeling weakness or fatigue all the time, it indicates that your heart isn’t functioning the way it’s meant to be. Atrial fibrillation is the condition that causes irregular heartbeat and requires an accurate assessment before you can get proper treatment.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart condition characterized by irregular heart rhythm developed in the top chambers of the heart. This abnormality affects the functioning of the heart and causes blood to stagnant and form clots in the left atrial appendage. The blood clots can then swim through the bloodstream to travel to the brain where they cut off the oxygen supply and lead to a fatal stroke.

In medical terms, the heart chamber is called the atrium, and the tiny pouch attached to it is known as the atrial appendage. The formation of blood clots takes place in this small pouch. Atrial fibrillation can manifest itself asymptomatic in some cases and display strong signs and symptoms in other cases. However, if the condition goes undetected or untreated, it can develop life-threatening conditions. Some of the known types of atrial fibrillation are:

  • Paroxysmal AFib is a brief paroxysm of atrial fibrillation that may pass without or severe symptoms.
  • Persistent AFib is a condition in which the heartbeat remains irregular for over a week
  • Long-standing AFib has an irregular heartbeat for over a year
  • Permanent AFib is a heartbeat disorder that doesn’t respond to medicine and becomes a permanent health condition.

Whatever AFiB type may be, a specific diagnosis and treatment can help reset the heartbeat and improve the overall health as well.   

Causes of Atrial Fibrillations:

Atrial fibrillation occurs when changes take place in the heart’s tissue or its electrical signals. Following health conditions may also be contributing causes of atrial fibrillation:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • History of cardiac issues such as heart attack, coronary artery disease, and/or heart valves disorder, etc.
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Lung diseases
  • Viral infections and sick sinus syndrome
  • Exposure to certain stimulants, such as medications, alcohol, caffeine, etc.
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stress due to illness or surgery                                                                                       

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation:

Some people have atrial fibrillation yet no symptoms, but those who do have symptoms may experience:

  • Heart palpitations or heart aces
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Light-headedness and dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion and reduced ability to perform routine chores or tasks

If you experience the above-listed symptoms, it is important to see and discuss with the doctor about all signs and your medical history, who after conducting diagnostic testing will confirm the presence of AFib and determine an appropriate treatment to manage or eliminate symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options:

Atrial fibrillation can be determined by a physical exam as well as various diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram (Echo), blood tests, chest X-ray, or sometimes stress test to determine how the body responds during physical exertion.

When a patient is diagnosed with AFib, the doctor may advise on the following treatment options given the type and severity of the disorder as well as the patient’s overall health and preference:

  • Blood-thinning medication that helps reset the heartbeat, prevents clot formation, and reduces the risk for a possible stroke.
  • An electrical procedure of cardioversion often advised with medications.
  • The Watchman procedure, involving an implant to be inserted into the atrial appendage to permanently block it off.
  • Atrial fibrillation MAZE procedure to address the issue with the heart’s natural rhythm.
  • Catheter ablation to cauterize certain areas causing disruptions in electrical signals.
  • Atrioventricular node ablation to destroy ineffective tissues in the heart chambers. It is then followed by the deployment of a pacemaker that helps regulate heart rate.

Each atrial fibrillation treatment focuses on returning the heartbeat to normal, maintaining the best heart rate, and enabling the patient to resume an active lifestyle.

Book an Appointment:

We provide a premier cardiovascular care experience for patients at our state-of-the-art facility in Dubai. Our office is equipped with cutting-edge technology while our cardiovascular staff is highly experienced and trained in conducting diagnostic testing and determining treatment options for Atrial Fibrillation. Since our heart governs every activity in our body, you always search for the best options when a heart issue is diagnosed. American Hospital Dubai is the region’s trusted leader in cardiovascular care and is also nationally recognized for its performance and quality.

If you’re concerned about any irregularities in your heartbeat or have AFib Symptoms, schedule your visit with the best-in-class Cardiologists for atrial fibrillation diagnosis and treatment in Dubai by using our secure online booking form.

American Hospital Panel of Doctors

Firas Raouf Alani

Consultant - Chief of Heart & Vascular Center

Arabic, English

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