08 Apr Atrial Fibrillation
Psychological Articles on Elderly Problems
Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia of the heart, or an irregular heart beat. It can be chronic or occur in episodes. People with atrial fibrillation are five times more likely to have a stroke according to www.medic8.com. Although it can be a problem for everyone, it becomes an elderly problem because high blood pressure, heart disease, and cardiomyopathy are all contributing causes to atrial fibrillation and these causes are among other problems that are more common in the elderly. In fact, according to psychological articles and research, the likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation increases with age, especially in people over the age of sixty five.
Atrial fibrillation is usually asymptomatic; nonetheless, there sometimes are signs that one can look for such as chest pains, palpitations and shortness of breath, fatigue, lightheadedness, and fainting. Once this particular elderly problem has been diagnosed, treatment options vary. Drugs may be prescribed to slow the heart rate down. In addition, electric shock may be used to restore normal heart rhythm if medication does not work and radiofrequency ablation may also be effective if medication doesn’t work. Lastly, surgery can be used to disrupt electrical pathways that cause atrial fibrillation or used to insert a pacemaker under the skin to generate a normal heart beat.
Research informs us that if left untreated, atrial fibrillation is likely to lead to a stroke. In fact, the American Heart Association suggests that this particular heart arrhythmia not only be treated, but rather be treated aggressively. If a patient with atrial fibrillation under the age of seventy-five is at a low risk for a stroke then the common household drug of aspirin may be all that is prescribed. Otherwise, a drug called Warfin is often used to thin the blood. However, Warfin carries more risk of side effects than asprin, such as bleeding or ulcers, and thus aspirin may be the first choice for less advanced cases.
If your list of elderly problems include any of the above listed symptoms, please be sure to tell a doctor about them immediately to ensure your health and safety. As stated above, atrial fibrillation may carry no symptoms. But then again—your seemingly unrelated symptoms may be signs of even greater problems. Please be aware and take notice of what your body is telling you.
The Psychological Article on Atrial Fibrillation is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on Elderly problems. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.
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