National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month is in September each year, organized by the Heart Rhythm Society. It’s important to increase awareness of this cardiac ailment during this crucial month. Atrial fibrillation (AFib) causes irregular heartbeats. It can become life-threatening if the right course of therapy is not taken. Millions of Americans have AFib but are completely unaware of it. Often, the mild AFib symptoms can go unnoticed. Others may experience a persistent and crippling form of the illness. Since 2009, the Heart Rhythm Society has collaborated with other groups to disseminate details on typical symptoms, warning indications, and available treatments.
History of National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month
Atrial Fibrillation, also called AFib, is one of the most commonly occurring heart rhythm disorders. Symptoms can be mild for most people. For others, the condition can be chronic and life-threatening.
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart’s upper chambers don’t beat in sync with the lower chambers. When this happens, a person’s heartbeat becomes irregular or slow. Some of the signs people should watch for are fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and palpitations.
The added strain on the heart puts AFib patients at a higher risk for blood clots and heart failure. Blood clots can form since an irregular heartbeat cannot pump blood as much or as well as it should. Plus, clots can become displaced. If they travel to other body parts, clots can block blood flow. Patients can suffer from a brain stroke if blood flow to the brain stops.
The goal is for AFib patients to correct irregular heart rhythms and reduce their chances of stroke. Doctors will recommend medication as the first line of treatment. Treatment options depend on the frequency of symptoms and how long patients have had atrial fibrillation. Antiarrhythmic medication can control heart rhythm, working wonders for most patients. Doctors may also prescribe blood thinners to reduce the risk of clots. Medication is usually enough to treat AFib. In the rare case it doesn’t, doctors may recommend other procedures or surgeries.
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month aims to create public awareness and provide support so patients can lead happy and healthier lives.
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month timeline
Chinese physicians make the earliest diagnoses of irregular arterial pulses.
Jean Baptist de Sénac finds correlations between palpitations and the heart’s mitral valve narrowing.
William Withering uses the digitalis leaf to bring relief to patients with atrial fibrillation.
William Einthoven publishes findings from the first E.C.G. machine that detects AFib.
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month FAQs
Is atrial fibrillation considered a disability?
The S.S.A. considers AFib a disability if it prevents a person from being able to work. To qualify, people need to meet the medical qualifications outlined by the S.S.A.
Does atrial fibrillation get worse with age?
AFib can get worse with age without the correct treatment. The condition is much more prevalent in older adults, although people of any age can get it.
Is walking good for atrial fibrillation?
Walking can reduce the onset of AFib symptoms. Regular walks can improve the health and longevity of AFib patients.
How to Observe National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month
Talk about it
This month is about getting the word out to as many people. Share information about AFib with family, friends, and other social networks.
Join the conversation
The Heart Rhythm Society organizes several learning sessions online. Tune in to one of the chats and join the AFib conversation from wherever you are.
Visit your doctor
If you or anyone you know exhibits AFib symptoms, visit your healthcare service provider. AFib is easily treatable once doctors confirm a diagnosis.
5 Facts About The Heart That Will Blow Your Mind
Be still my beating heart
The heart can keep beating even when disconnected from the body.
Heart disease has been around a while
Scientists documented the earliest known case of heart disease in a 3500-year-old Egyptian mummy.
A giraffe’s left ventricle is thicker since it needs to get blood up the long neck and into the brain.
Hearts can break scientifically
Broken heart syndrome can happen due to a rush of stress hormones.
Why heart cancer is rare
We don’t hear of heart cancer because heart cells don’t divide, thus preventing cell mutation or abnormality.
Why National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month is Important
Healthier, happy hearts
An entire month dedicated to heart health is just what the doctor ordered. The more people involved, the better.
The importance of prevention
This month gets everyone proactive about heart health. Whether you have symptoms or not, pay attention.
Better quality lives
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month brings hope to patients. Awareness can help people avail better treatment and medication options.
National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month dates