Stay Alert to Atrial Fibrillation After a Heart Attack: Senior's Guide to Post-Heart Attack Health
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Stay Alert to Atrial Fibrillation After a Heart Attack: Senior's Guide to Post-Heart Attack Health

As a senior citizen, it is important to be aware of the changes that may occur following a heart attack. For example, as you age, your risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AFib) increases significantly after a cardiac event or trauma such as a heart attack. AFib is considered to be a serious medical concern that can have potentially serious consequences. 

In this blog post from Senior Helpers Fort Smith, we will discuss what atrial fibrillation is, how it affects seniors after a heart attack, and the symptoms seniors should watch for in relation to AFib.

What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a type of irregular heart rhythm. In those with atrial fibrillation, the cardiac muscles in the upper chambers (the atria) beat erratically and faster than normal. This causes your heartbeat to become so irregular that it no longer effectively pumps blood throughout the body. The most serious consequence of AFib is stroke since clots may form during periods of fast or irregular heart rate and lead to blockages in circulation, causing stroke symptoms.

How Does Atrial Fibrillation Affect Seniors After a Heart Attack?

After a heart attack, seniors may experience an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation due to the damage caused by blockages in circulation. If AFib is not treated properly, it can lead to further cardiac events and even stroke. Seniors especially need to be aware of their risk for AFib when recovering from a heart attack or other cardiac trauma. They should also discuss their risks for AFib after being discharged from the hospital following a heart attack, so that they can get a care plan in place.

Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms Seniors Can Watch For

The symptoms of AFib that can indicate trouble for a senior include shortness of breath, palpitations or chest pain, dizziness and lightheadedness, fatigue or weakness, confusion, or anxiety. Consult with your doctor if you experience any of these effects after returning home after a heart attack. It's also a good idea to pay very close attention to your overall heart health after a heart attack. Keeping a journal where you can document your signs and symptoms on a daily basis is a great idea that can help keep you in touch with your health journey.

Senior Helpers Supports Your Health Journey

Atrial fibrillation is a serious condition that can cause long-term damage or even stroke in seniors if gone untreated. It is important for seniors to be aware of the signs and symptoms of AFib following a heart attack so that they can get necessary treatment before more complications arise. 

Our team of caregivers at Senior Helpers Fort Smith will ensure your senior is closely monitored after cardiac trauma, and extra care can be given at home when needed due to underlying medical conditions such as atrial fibrillation post-heart attack. We work with seniors in and around the Ozark, Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan, and Scott County areas. Contact us today to learn more about our services!