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:
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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.
A-Fib SlideshowAFib 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 vs. Ventricular Fibrillation (AFib vs VFib Symptoms, ECG Strips)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) and ventricular fibrillation (VFib) are problems with the heart that cause abnormal heart rhythms. Causes of these heart conditions include, heart disease, drugs and medications, excessive alcohol consumption, high cholesterol, advancing age, a diet that contains high levels of animal meat (fat), high blood pressure, stress, stimulants like caffeine, nicotine. Ventricular fibrillation is the more serious of the conditions because if it isn't treated immediately the person will likely die. Symptoms of AFib are confusion, anxiety, fatigue, a fluttering in the chest, and the feeling that you may pass out or faint. Atrial fibrillation is treated with medications, cardioversion therapy, and surgery. If a person with ventricular fibrillation does not seek medical help immediately they will mostly likely suffer from sudden cardiac arrest or sudden death.
Atrial Flutter: ECG, Symptoms, and Treatments
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.
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.
Multaq (dronedarone)Multaq is a prescription medicine used to lower the chance that you will need to go into the hospital for atrial fibrillation. It is meant for people who have had certain types of atrial fibrillation (paroxysmal or persistent AF) in the past, but are now in normal rhythm. Taking Multaq is associated with an increased risk of death, stroke, and heart failure in people with decompensated heart failure or permanent atrial fibrillation.
Sotylize (sotalol hydrochloride)Sotylize (fluorouracil) is a prescription medication used to treat life-threatening heart rhythm problems called ventricular arrhythmias and to increase the amount of time between having symptoms of heart rhythm disorders called atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Serious side effects of Sotylize include risk of induced arrhythmia, slow heartbeat (bradycardia), new or worsening heart failure, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with diabetes, and others.