Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart could not beat at its efficient rate. An erratic heart rhythm starts in the atria where it might quiver irregularly or too quickly which leads to diminished blood flow to the other parts of the heart.
Once this occurs, blood can accumulate in the heart and form a clot. Remember that a blood clot can be dangerous since it can cause a stroke if it moves to the brain. Aside from blood clots, atrial fibrillation can eventually weaken the heart and impair its capability to pump blood efficiently.
What are the indications of atrial fibrillation?
The characteristic indication of atrial fibrillation is a fluttering or racing heart rate. This is due to the irregular quivering of the atria. The individual feels that the heart is skipping a beat or beating rapidly or forcefully. There is also an abrupt pounding sensation in the chest.
Other usual indications include the following:
Always bear in mind that atrial fibrillation might be an ongoing condition. In some individuals, they only experience the symptoms occasionally, usually for a few minutes or a couple of hours which is called as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Even though the symptoms are brief, it is ideal to get treated.
When to consult a doctor
Generally, atrial fibrillation will not always trigger any evident symptoms. Many can live with the condition without suspecting of having one.
A doctor must be consulted regarding tests that can be done to determine if the individual has atrial fibrillation or if you suspect that the heart is beating irregularly and the cause is not known.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on atrial fibrillation is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage circulatory issues by taking a standard first aid course with Ottawa First Aid.