September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month – a perfect time to learn more about this heart rhythm disorder that affects more than 3 million Americans. If untreated, AFib can cause serious complications. AFib increases the risk of stroke five-fold, according to the American Heart Association, and it can also lead to congestive heart failure and chronic fatigue.
Thankfully, more options to treat atrial fibrillation are available than ever before. At Valley’s new Snyder Center for Comprehensive Atrial Fibrillation, the diagnosis, treatment and management of AFib are a team approach, involving electrophysiologists, cardiologists, sleep apnea specialists, weight-loss professionals, stress reduction specialists, and others.
At the Snyder Center, the emphasis is on overall health, not simply treating AFib. The goal is to identify health issues that are contributing to the patient’s AFib—such as stress, hypertension, sleep apnea and obesity. Navigators and coordinators guide patients through the entire care continuum.
While there is no single “cause” of atrial fibrillation, it can be associated with high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, chronic lung disease, obesity, sleep apnea and other conditions. Some individuals don't notice any symptoms of AFib. Others feel palpitations or a galloping or sluggish heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, fatigue or weakness, dizziness, unexplained falls or fainting.
Treatment may include lifestyle measures, medications, implantable devices, cardioversion treatment, catheter ablation or surgery.
For more information on the Snyder Center for Comprehensive Atrial Fibrillation or to make an appointment, call 201-447-8392.