Some of the medical conditions that may cause AFib to include:
- After a heart surgery
- Cardiomyopathy (diseases of the heart muscles)
- Chronic (long-term) lung diseases
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease (CAD) (disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart)
- Valvular heart disease (abnormality in the heart valves)
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
- Congenital heart disease (a heart disease a person is born with)
- Myocarditis (viral infections)
- Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland)
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the covering of the heart or pericardium)
- Age above 60 years
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Genetic factors
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation (AFib or AF) refers to abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that causes quivering or irregular heartbeats. It is a serious medical condition that may further lead to stroke and heart failure. The heart is a muscular organ roughly the size of a closed fist. It has two upper chambers called atria and two lower chambers called ventricles. The flow of blood into the heart, within the heart chambers, and from the heart is guarded by the four valves present in the heart. The heart gets its nutrients and oxygen through the coronary arteries that run along the surface of the heart. It is also richly supplied by a web of nerve tissue that facilitates the rhythmic heartbeat. A regular, well-coordinated heartbeat is essential for the heart to do its job: pump blood effectively throughout the body. Electrical signals travel through the heart to cause rhythmic contractions and relaxation of its chambers. Normally, the heart beats around 60-100 times a minute. This regular heartbeat is called sinus rhythm. AFib is a condition in which the electrical signals in the heart become chaotic. This results in the twitching or quivering of the atria that becomes unable to pump blood effectively into the ventricles. Contractions are not coordinated and result in an irregular and abnormally fast heart rate. This abnormally fast rhythm may cause a blood clot to break off and travel to the brain causing a stroke. Untreated AFib may increase the risk of stroke by five times. It can also make the heart weak leading to heart failure, which is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. Despite all the potential risks associated with AFib, many people are not aware that it is a serious condition.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
The symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib) include:
Top The Most Common Cause of Atrial Fibrillation Related Articles
Angina: Signs, Symptoms, and What It Feels LikeAngina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning, squeezing, and aching. Coronary artery disease is the main cause of angina but there are other causes. Angina is diagnosed by taking the patient's medical history and performing tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), blood test, stress test, echocardiogram, cardiac CT scan, and heart catheterization. Treatment of angina usually includes lifestyle modification, medication, and sometimes, surgery. The risk of angina can be reduced by following a heart healthy lifestyle.
Eliquis (apixaban)Apixaban is a medication prescribed to prevent blood clots in the heart and strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, and to prevent and treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. The most common side effects of apixaban involves bleeding in the stomach, intestines, brain, and eyes. Bleeding due to apixaban may be fatal.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) is an abnormality in the heart rhythm, which involves irregular and often rapid beating of the heart. Symptoms may include heart palpitations, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Atrial fibrillation treatment may include medication or procedures like cardioversion or ablation to normalize the heart rate.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Symptoms and SignsAtrial fibrillation or AFib is a type of heart rhythm abnormality. Early warning signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation include chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness. Treatment for atrial fibrillation includes medical procedures, surgery, and medication.
Atrial Fibrillation QuizLearn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of the common heart abnormality known as atrial fibrillation (A-fib).
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment DrugsAtrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm disorder that causes irregular and often rapid heartbeat. The medications to treat AFib include beta-blockers, blood thinners, and heart rhythm drugs. Atrial fibrillation drugs can cause serious side effects like seizures, vision changes, shortness of breath, fainting, other abnormal heart rhythms, excessive bleeding while coughing or vomiting, blood in the stool, and bleeding into the brain.
Living With A-FibAFib symptoms like heart racing, fluttering, and irregular heart beat may be caused by heart disease, obesity, alcohol use, thyroid disease, and other conditions. AFib medications may include blood thinners, drugs to control heart rate or convert the heart to a normal rhythm. AFib surgery is also a treatment possibility.
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) vs. Ventricular Fibrillation (VFib)Atrial fibrillation (AFib) and ventricular fibrillation (VFib) are problems with the heart that cause abnormal heart rhythms. Check out the center below for more medical references on heart conditions, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
Atrial flutter is a problem with the atria of the heart. In atrial flutter the atria of the heart rapidly and repeatedly beat due to an anomaly in the electrical system of the heart. It is a type of arrhythmia and can be dangerous because complications can develop easily. Signs and symptoms of atrial flutter include near fainting, palpitations, mild shortness of breath, and fatigue.
While the exact cause of atrial flutter is not clearly understood, it's most likely related to your health, what medical conditions you certainly have, poor diet, lack of exercise, and drinking too much alcohol. Atrial flutter is diagnosed by physical examination, medical history, and a sawtooth ECG wave pattern.
Atrial Flutter vs. Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation (AFib) are two types of a heart problem called atrial tachycardia. Both of these conditions involve the heart's electrical activity, but they are not the same disease. Both diseases are serious and need medical treatment.
Common symptoms of these diseases are similar and include:
- Blurry vision
- Feeling like you may faint
Serious symptoms of both conditions are similar and include:
- Severe shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Atrial flutter and AFib are heart conditions that require medical diagnosis (ECG) and treatment by a doctor or other medical health-care professional.
Camzyos (mavacamten)Camzyos (mavacamten) is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Camzyos reduces left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and can cause heart failure due to systolic dysfunction. Camzyos may cause serious side effects including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat, fainting, and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction from the heart. Consult your doctor before taking Camzyos if pregnant or breastfeeding.
heparinHeparin is a natural anticoagulant compound in the body that prevents the formation of blood clots (thrombosis). Heparin is used to treat venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, atrial fibrillation with embolization and other conditions. Common side effects of heparin include hemorrhage (gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, adrenal bleeding with resultant adrenal insufficiency, ovarian hemorrhage, retroperitoneal hemorrhage, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, bruising, blood vessel spasm (vasospasm), and heparin resistance. Heparin overdose may result in severe bleeding. Consult your doctor if pregnant and do not use if breastfeeding.
Is AFib With RVR Life Threatening?Atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response (RVR) is one of the most common types of arrhythmia. While AFib alone is not fatal, it's still a critical medical condition that must be treated appropriately.
Living with Atrial FibrillationLearn how to live easier with atrial fibrillation. What is AFib? Find out the symptoms and causes of this heart condition. Explore tips that can help you manage an irregular heartbeat, including medication, diet, nutrition, exercise, and ways to reduce stress.
What are the Most Common Causes of Atrial Fibrillation?Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by an irregular and fast heartbeat. The upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat chaotically, and can cause pooling and clotting of blood in the atria, instead of it emptying into the lower chamber (ventricles). AF can lead to stroke, heart failure, blood clots, and heart-related complications. Atrial fibrillation is classified into three types: Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, persistent atrial fibrillation, and long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation.
rivaroxabanRivaroxaban is a blood thinner prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation (not due to a heart problem), treat and reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) and blood clots in the lung (pulmonary embolism), and to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs of patients who have just had hip or knee replacement. You should review the side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication.
sotalolSotalol is a medication used to treat certain heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias), life-threatening rapid heart rate in the ventricles (ventricular tachycardia), and to maintain normal sinus rhythm in patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation. Common side effects of sotalol include shortness of breath (dyspnea), slow heart rate (bradycardia), chest pain, palpitation, new onset or exacerbation of heart rhythm disorders (proarrhythmia), abnormal ECG, low blood pressure (hypotension), congestive heart failure, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, and others. Do not take if breastfeeding. Consult your doctor if pregnant.
What Rate is Considered RVR?RVR stands for a rapid ventricular response and it can be triggered by atrial fibrillation. A ventricular rate higher than 100 beats per minute is considered rapid ventricular response.