Atrial fibrillation (also known as AF or AFib) is the most common type of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat or heart rhythm). If not properly managed or treated, atrial fibrillation can have serious complications. Atrial fibrillation increases your risk for stroke, heart failure, and being hospitalized.
The good news is that atrial fibrillation is manageable and you can lead an active, healthy, normal life with appropriate treatment.
Your doctor plays a vital role in managing atrial fibrillation. Treatment goals and plans can be discussed with your doctor. Your doctor can monitor your progress, see how well the treatment is working, and help you maintain your quality of life.
For this reason, it is important to see your doctor regularly for check-ups. You can also discuss with your doctor any concerns you have about your current treatment (for example, if you are experiencing side effects).
Your doctor can also help you decide what you can do to prevent complications of atrial fibrillation, such as stroke. The Atrial Fibrillation: Stroke Risk Assessment tool is a good place to start to find out your risk of stroke. You can talk to your doctor about your risk of stroke and what you can do to help reduce this risk. Your doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes or look into ways to manage other medical conditions you may have.
Sometimes you may feel rushed at the doctor's office or forget to ask what's been on your mind. Be prepared for your visit. To help you get started on the discussion with your doctor, use the Doctor Discussion Guide.