Atrial Fibrillation: Symptoms, Causes, and the Connection to Sleep Apnea
Atrial fibrillation (AFib), also known as arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, is a disorder in which the upper chambers of the heart (atria) flutter as a result of an irregular electrical stimulus. Shortness of breath, exhaustion, and other symptoms result from these erratic, frenetic heartbeats.
Over 2.7 million people in the United States alone have irregular heartbeats.
AFib isn’t normally a life-threatening condition on its own, but it is significant and may necessitate emergency treatment. The likelihood of blood clots forming in the atria is a big issue. These could circulate in the bloodstream, obstructing blood flow to other organs or potentially resulting in a stroke. If you or someone you care for has AFib, it’s critical to be aware of the symptoms they’re experiencing and to get medical advice to avoid further issues.
Continue reading to learn more about AFib, including what to do if your loved one is experiencing it at night.
Atrial Fibrillation Common Triggers
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that can be caused by underlying health problems or provoked by external circumstances. The following are some of the most common causes of irregular heartbeats:
- Anxiety or ecstatic joy?
- Recent surgery
- Hormone imbalances
- Physical effort
- Prescription drugs (such as nasal spray decongestants)
When a specific trigger causes atrial fibrillation, avoiding the actions or habits that produce it is frequently enough to prevent symptoms. Doctors can also employ a variety of procedures to reset the heart’s natural beat and watch a situation more closely in order to determine what a patient’s trigger is.
Atrial Fibrillation in the Middle of the night
Many people with AFib have symptoms at night. When the heart rhythm slows down during sleep, pacemaker activity can sometimes cause irregular heartbeats.
People with sleep apnea are more likely to get heart problems and an irregular heartbeat. If your loved one has AFib in addition to sleep apnea or other sleep problems, the problem should be discussed with a doctor. According to some estimates, 50 to 80 percent of people with atrial fibrillation also suffer from sleep apnea. While the cause of the association between these two disorders is unknown, untreated sleep apnea increases the chance of AFib complications. One idea for why this happened is that sleep apnea causes abnormalities in breathing, which raise blood pressure and put more strain on the heart.
There’s also evidence that poor sleeping patterns and a lack of REM sleep are linked to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Given this, it’s critical to be aware of any changes in your loved ones’ sleeping patterns and to get medical help if any other symptoms arise.
Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation
There are numerous more therapy choices for atrial fibrillation symptoms that occur at night, in addition to medicines that act directly to achieve this precise thing for heart function.
Positions for Sleeping.
A good night’s sleep is essential for general health and can also help to minimize irregular heartbeat events. Many health experts advise sleeping on your left side. This has been demonstrated to improve blood flow and respiratory efficiency. Another suggestion is to establish an evening habit, such as reading a book or drinking a warm beverage, to assist the body relax and prepare for sleep.
Changes in Lifestyle.
Many of the lifestyle changes that can help people with atrial fibrillation also help them live a healthier life in general. Avoiding smoking, excessive drinking, and eating a nutritious diet are all examples of this. Regular exercise, such as aerobic activities or yoga, is also recommended. To relax muscles and maintain the body in sync, biofeedback training and vagal maneuvers (activities that engage the vagus nerve, such as coughing) can be used.
Breathing Devices are a type of respiratory equipment that is used to help people breathe When AFib is combined with sleep apnea, the first line of treatment is usually the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device to improve breathing.
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Even though it isn’t an immediate cause for concern, if your loved one is suffering AFib, you should be concerned. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting enough restful sleep are two excellent strategies to lessen the likelihood of recurrent episodes, and visiting a doctor will help you rule out any underlying sleep issues.
- The best care professionals
- Knowledge and support for people with heart disease
- Personalized care to meet your family’s needs
- Experience making a healthy diet and habits easier