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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Atrial Fibrillation and Its Common Signs and Symptoms


Atrial Fibrillation or also known as AFib or AF is a condition where an individual experiences irregular heartbeats. Based on a recent survey conducted, there are 2.7 million Americans who have this kind of condition. Patients may reveal that their hearts seem to bang against their chest walls especially when they are moving around to perform activities. Others may disclose that they feel no symptoms or signs at all.

You will be able to know the common signs and symptoms associated with atrial fibrillation in this article. Read on to learn and share with your loved ones.

Different Types of Atrial Fibrillation

There are four known types of atrial fibrillation, and these are:

•         Occasional

This is also known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. The symptoms come and go. They may last for a few minutes to a couple of hours and stop suddenly.

•         Persistent

This type of atrial fibrillation means that your heart does not return to its normal rhythm. You have to get electrical shocks or medications to have your heart rhythm restored.

•         Long-standing persistent

This one lasts longer than the first two and may last for more than twelve (12) months.

•         Permanent

The abnormal heart rhythm is not possible to be restored any longer. The patient is given medications to control the heart rate.

Common Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

Individuals who have atrial fibrillation may experience palpitations or sensations of uncomfortable, irregular, racing-like, and flip-flopping heartbeats. They also may feel weakness and fatigue. Light-headedness and dizziness are also a common symptom. The patient may experience confusion as well. Shortness of breath and chest pain are also included.

When to See a Doctor


If you have any of the aforementioned atrial fibrillation symptoms, it is better if you see your doctor right away. The doctor will then instruct you to undergo electrocardiogram to see if the symptoms that you feel belong to the atrial fibrillation condition. What should alarm you most is when you experience chest pain as it may indicate that you are having a heart attack.

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an often and irregular heart rate that happens when the two chambers of your heart undergo mixed and chaotic electrical signals. The electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles are being bombarded with signals as they try to get through the ventricles. This then results to a wild and irregular heart rhythm. The heart rate in atrial fibrillation ranges from 100 to 175 beats per minute, wherein the normal range is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Other causes can be due to high blood pressure; heart attacks; coronary artery disease; abnormal heart valves; congenital heart defects; overactive thyroid gland; exposure to stimulants like medications, caffeine, tobacco or even alcohol; lung diseases, previous heart surgery; sleep apnea and stress due to pneumonia, viral infections or other illnesses.

Conclusion

Atrial fibrillation may increase your risk of a stroke. It is advisable that you discuss it with your doctor since atrial fibrillation, if not controlled, can weaken the heart and worst, lead to heart failure.

This is a guest blog post.

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