Did you know that your brain health and your cardiovascular wellness are closely linked? In fact, having certain cardiovascular conditions, such as atrial fibrillation (A-fib) can increase your risk of stroke. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your condition. Consider discussing a treatment plan with specialists at a heart hospital, such as Riverside Community Hospital.
Understanding How A-Fib Can Cause Stroke
Your heart has an electrical system that emits signals to control the heartbeat. These electrical signals begin in the upper chambers of the heart, or the atria, and they travel to the ventricles, or the lower chambers. A patient with atrial fibrillation has irregular or fast electrical signals in the atria, causing these chambers to shake instead of contract properly. Sometimes, this can also cause the ventricles to pump irregularly or rapidly. These irregular heartbeats interfere with the way in which the heart pumps blood out, which can allow blood to pool in the chambers. This accumulated blood may form blood clots. If a blood clot breaks away from the area, it may travel along the blood vessels toward the brain, where it may block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
Identifying A-Fib Symptoms
Atrial fibrillation doesn’t always cause symptoms. However, if you do experience any possible symptoms, you could seek a diagnosis and treatment plan at a heart hospital. Managing atrial fibrillation can reduce your risk of stroke. The symptoms of atrial fibrillation include an irregular or rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, pain or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, and inability to exercise.
Exploring Stroke Prevention Strategies
The goal of an atrial fibrillation treatment plan is to reduce the risk of blood clots, restore the normal rhythm of the heart, and maintain a normal heart rate. Medications can help prevent blood clot formation and manage the rate and rhythm of the heart. Some patients may be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as achieving a healthy weight. In certain cases, surgery at a heart hospital may be recommended.
If you have atrial fibrillation, you can find the healthcare solutions you need at the HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital. Our heart hospital in Riverside is also a Primary Stroke Center certified by The Joint Commission. For general information about our heart health services, bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery, or OB/GYN services, call (951) 788-3000 to speak with a registered nurse.