Many people live a good and rich life despite atrial fibrillation, however there are many individuals whose quality of life is significantly reduced by the condition. This applies both to people experiencing persistent or periodic afib.
There are many factors that can affect an individual’s quality of life. In some cases it is psychological. For example, many people find themselves afraid of what the afib may mean for their health. Others may be concerned about a blood clot to the brain.
In other cases it is due to the physical symptoms of atrial fibrillation. The flicker can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, unexpected sweating etc. This can put limits on how you live your life. In addition, many people struggle with the side effects of the medication they have been prescribed in order to treat atrial fibrillation.
Studies have persistently demonstrated that the perceived quality of life of people with atrial fibrillation is as bad as it is for patients with severe, chronic heart disease, or for long-term cancer sufferers. That is, despite being an overlooked condition, the quality of life for atrial fibrillation sufferers is significantly reduced.
How can I improve my quality of life with atrial fibrillation?
Fortunately there are are steps that can help to improve the perceived quality of life living with atrial fibrillation by:
- Reading detailed information about atrial fibrillation, and what it means for your health.
- Working with physicians who take atrial fibrillation symptoms seriously.
- Reading detailed information about sensible treatment options, and actually undergoing the treatment.
- Ensuring that you understand the side effects of any medication which could have a negative impact upon your quality of life.
- Taking the time to read information that provides context about atrial fibrillation, and accepting that you will still be able to live a normal life despite your challenges.
- Working with your physician to decide if you should take blood-thinning medication in order to prevent blood clots, you can find more information here.
Many studies have demonstrated that both medical treatment and ablation treatment can significantly improve the perceived quality of life for individuals suffering from atrial fibrillation. This is important as some patients feel that their quality of life is so badly affected that they show symptoms of anxiety or depression. This makes it important to consult your doctor, and obtain a reference to a psychologist or psychiatrist to come to terms with your conditions if necessary.
That being said, despite the impacts it has on your quality of life, there are good treatment options for both atrial fibrillation and the complications this may bring, and you should do your best to remain calm, and keep a positive outlook.