Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body.
During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms often include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.
Episodes of atrial fibrillation can come and go.
I had 2 episodes in less than 12 hours of wearing the monitor. The monitor is a 3-lead EKG monitor that has 3G technology and functions in two ways. First, when you feel an event you trigger the monitor which then sends a segment of data back to the manufacturer which then reviews the data and forwards it to the doctor. The second function is that the monitor itself watches your heart rhythms and sends data back to the company if it detects anything abnormal.
I had 97 episodes during the entire time I wore the monitor and only one of them did I submit. The first one, was while sitting on the couch at home watching TV! I didn’t get the opportunity to review all of the the episodes, which would be interesting to see when they were happening and if there was a pattern that correlates to my activity or behaviors.
So now that I have a diagnosis, what’s next?
The first step is medication – Metoprolol a beta-blocker, blood pressure medicine. And an Aspirin daily, even though my stroke risk is a 0, they still wanted me to take an Aspirin as strokes are a risk of AFib.
If Metoprolol doesn’t work, there are other medicines that could be used. Given my age and overall health I am also a candidate for cardiac ablation – a catheter procedure to change the heart structure to prevent future Atrial Fibrillations from occurring.