Atrial fibrillation, commonly referred to as AFib, is a serious heart condition that affects millions of people worldwide. You can learn everything you need to know about AFib with a search online right now, which could help you spot early symptoms.
What is AFib?
With numbers just in the United States expected to rise to 12.1 million by 2030, AFib is a growing issue. It is a condition in which the heart’s upper chambers beat irregularly and out of sync with the lower chambers. As a result, the heart pumps blood less efficiently, which can lead to complications such as blood clots, stroke, and heart failure.
AFib can occur intermittently, or it can be a chronic condition. The symptoms can vary widely, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all. However, there are some common symptoms that are associated with AFib. In this article, we will explore the six most common symptoms and their implications.
One of the most common symptoms of AFib is heart palpitations. Heart palpitations are a sensation of fluttering, pounding, or racing in the chest. They can be alarming and uncomfortable, and they are often accompanied by dizziness or shortness of breath. Palpitations are a result of the heart’s rapid and irregular contractions, which can interfere with its ability to pump blood efficiently.
Fatigue is another common symptom of AFib. It is a feeling of tiredness or weakness that is not relieved by rest. Fatigue can be caused by a decrease in the heart’s pumping efficiency, which can result in a lack of oxygen to the body’s tissues. Additionally, AFib can cause disruptions in sleep patterns, which can also contribute to fatigue.
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is a symptom of AFib that is often accompanied by heart palpitations. It is a feeling of difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest, which can be a result of the heart’s inability to pump blood efficiently. Shortness of breath can also be a sign of pulmonary edema, which is a buildup of fluid in the lungs.
Chest pain is a symptom of AFib that can be alarming and uncomfortable. It is a feeling of pressure or discomfort in the chest, which can be a result of the heart’s inability to pump blood efficiently. Chest pain can also be a sign of angina, which is a condition in which the heart does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood.
Dizziness is a common symptom of AFib that can be caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain. It is a feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness, or faintness. Dizziness can be accompanied by heart palpitations or shortness of breath, and it can be a sign of a more serious condition such as stroke or heart failure.
Weakness is a symptom of AFib that is often accompanied by fatigue. It is a feeling of decreased strength or energy, which can be a result of the heart’s decreased pumping efficiency. Weakness can also be a sign of other underlying medical conditions, such as anemia or hypothyroidism.
When To Seek Medical Attention
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to speak to your doctor. While some people may not experience any symptoms at all, AFib can be a serious condition that requires medical attention. If left untreated, it can lead to complications such as blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. Your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment options, including medication, lifestyle changes, or procedures such as cardioversion or ablation. With proper treatment, many people with AFib are able to manage their symptoms and live healthy, active lives.