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Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

by | Jun 23, 2024

Diagnosing atrial fibrillation is crucial in preventing stroke. At our specialized stroke clinic in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja, our stroke specialist, provides expert assessments and treatments to manage atrial fibrillation, reducing your risk of stroke. 

ecg holter monitor on patient body

What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation refers to an irregular heartbeat that is often very rapid.  The irregular heartbeat is also referred to as arrhythmia or A-fib. There are several causes for this condition that can be diagnosed and treated. The condition may lead to blood clots in the heart that move onto the brain and cause a stroke if A-fib is not treated or monitored correctly. Paroxysmal A-fib can be a temporary condition that last about a week. More persistent atrial fibrillation requires medical attention.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

An irregular heartbeat in the atria, the heart’s upper chambers, is the first sign of possible fibrillation. The heartbeat is not synchronized with the lower chambers, the ventricles. This may lead to the following conditions:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Very fast heartbeat

There are several reasons for this condition, and they may not all be serious enough to threaten a patient’s life. But, a patient should seek medical attention if the condition persists for more than a week.

Causes and Risk Factors

There are many health factors that can lead to atrial fibrillation. It is not uncommon in people over 65 years of age, based on their overall health. Some of the common causes of this condition include:

  • Obesity
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Lung disease
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Inherited heart conditions
  • Narrow or blocked arteries
  • Stress
  • Drug use

These are the major reason for occasional or continuous atrial fibrillation. This is why it is so important to seek immediate medical attention.

 

Triggers and Risk Factors

Any medical condition, including pneumonia, can cause an irregular heartbeat. The fibrillation maybe temporary, or it could continue. Many over-the-counter cold and allergy medications can trigger these problems. That is why it is best to discuss the use of all medications with a trained medical professional. Illegal drugs can also cause atrial fibrillation along with other problems. Cocaine, and other dangerous stimulants, can cause major heart problems and even death!

Obesity can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, and numerous cardiovascular problems that include irregular heartbeats. The excess weight puts extra pressure on the heart and lungs. Heavy smoking leads to lung diseases that also put extra pressure on the heart to supply oxygen to the body. Why risk any of these problems if they can be avoided?

Treatment and Prevention

Prevention can be easy by controlling weight and overall health. Try to manage stress, exercise, and eat healthy foods. Get 7 to 10 hours of sleep, and limit caffeine, alcohol, and smoking. However, it is necessary to have occasional tests and consult with medical professionals as you age.

For treatments, doctors may prescribe special drugs for high blood pressure. A doctor may also recommend an electrocardiogram or ultrasound to diagnose the condition. People with high blood pressure are encouraged to monitor their blood pressure at home.

 

Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

This is exactly the situation preventive measures can help avoid. Blood clots from the heart region that find their way to the brain are the most dangerous. A sudden weakness on one side of the body and difficulty speaking are symptoms of stroke.

Patients with A-fib learn to recognize these symptoms and seek immediate help.

 

Early Diagnosis Saves Lives

An early evaluation of your physical condition and cardiovascular system is an easy way to check for atrial fibrillation and other problems that can cause a stroke. A doctor will listen to your heart and check your blood pressure as a matter of routine. Any additional tests, usually non-invasive, will be recommended if your doctor suspects any problems.

Seniors, age 65 and older, should have regular annual checkups that include evaluations on the potential for stroke and heart attack. We encourage people to set appointments with us at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic to determine your risk.

Transient Ischemic Attack

Not all people get strokes. However, for those who are well, warning signs of stroke can still happen with this “mini stroke”. You might have heard of Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA), which can lead to a future possible stroke. 

Consult a Stroke Specialist in Singapore

Dr. Manish Taneja, is an expert in endovascular and image guided neurointerventional procedures of brain and spine. He has special interest in treatment of brain aneurysms, stroke and vascular malformations. Come in for a further evaluation and arrange an appointment today with our stroke specialist.

 

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Stroke Resources

Stroke In Younger Adults: What You Need to Know

You are never too young to have a stroke. As such, it is important to know what to look out for and how your lifestyle increases your risk of having a stroke.

happy senior woman eating healthy green apple

We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management

Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.

Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic. 

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various neurological conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our neurointervention specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.