Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and it is on the rise in seniors. Diagnosing, surviving, and preventing complications that harm you depends on early recognition and treatment. Recall an arrhythmia is your heart beating in an irregular manner. AF is commonly described as an ‘irregularly irregular’ heartbeat. You are unable to recognize a pattern of how your heart is beating. Please see a physician if you notice your pulse is irregular or your blood pressure device indicates irregular heartbeat. A physician should be the one to make an AF diagnosis.

There is a reason the Apps stores for smartphones have many applications for recording and recognizing AF. Just knowing that your chance of stroke is increased 5 fold if you have this arrhythmia is motivation enough. Approximately a third of new stroke victims did not know they had AF.

Why this is a concern is that complications can arise that being stroke, heart failure blood clots, and other minor sensations of feeling off. Palpations are a subjective sense that your heart is beating differently. If you become aware please get medical attention, no matter your age. Not all arrhythmia is manifested to you, so you might or might not sense irregular heart rhythms.

Knowing you have AF is very important as then stroke becomes largely preventable with oral anticoagulation. today anticoagulation is a pill taken daily without blood work regularly. According to the European Society of Cardiology guidelines, patients aged over 65 years can benefit from AF screening using single, repeated, or ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings. Tracing on mobile devices are tremendously helpful in this age group.

Naturally, it is better to monitor continually for a few days rather than episodic tracing on your personal electronic device. AF ‘runs’ can be sporadic or short-lived. It is best if ECG recordings resulted in higher sensitivity.

Surviving Atrial FibrillationI personally have been using the 2 and 6 lead Kardia app and device for years. With minimal investment, this device can be shared, easily carried, and make a serious impact on your quality of life. There are many other aids for lay individuals monitoring and recognizing arrhythmias, do check with your doctor.