Atrial fibrillation (A-fib) is a cardiac condition that makes the heart beat erratically rapidly and irregularly. The irregularity of heart rhythm is referred to as arrhythmia. When you are at rest, a typical heart rate should steadily swing between 60 and 100 beats per minute. By feeling your pulse in your wrist or neck, you may determine your pulse/heart rate.
The heart’s upper chambers (the atria), which should throb in unison with the lower chambers (the ventricles), instead beat abnormally and sporadically during atrial fibrillation. A-fib may not exhibit any signs in many people, however, palpitations, breathing difficulties, or weakness are commonly reported by the sufferers.
In terms of the impact of this condition, A-fib predisposes the heart to clot formation hence increasing the chance of cardiac problems such as heart failure and stroke. Therefore, if you find yourself relating to any of the discussed risk factors and clinical profile of this condition, you must reach out to a Cardiologist in Lahore forthwith for consultation.
The heart rate is sporadic and occasionally very fast in atrial fibrillation. It may occasionally extend beyond 100 beats per minute. This may show up as palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness in the affected individuals. Your heart may feel like it is hammering or fluttering, usually for a few seconds up to a few minutes while you are palpitating.
A person with atrial fibrillation may occasionally experience no symptoms and be completely ignorant that their heart rate is abnormal.
A-fib sufferers can remain asymptomatic too. However, these are some of the other signs and symptoms that A-fib can present:
- Chest pain
- Decreased capacity for exercise
- Respiratory difficulty
A-fib may be:
Occasional/Paroxysmal – The typical duration of A-fib symptoms ranges from a few minutes to many hours. Sometimes the episodes could be too recurrent lasting up to a week. The symptoms may subside on their own except for a few exceptions which necessitate medical intervention.
Persistent – The heart rhythm does not return to normal on its own when there is this kind of atrial fibrillation. Cardioversion or pharmacological treatment may be used to restore and maintain a normal heart rhythm in people who have the symptoms.
Long-Standing Persistent – Atrial fibrillation of this kind subsists for more than a year.
Permanent – This variant of abnormal heart rhythm cannot be corrected. Drugs are required to regulate heart rhythm and stop clot formation.
A-fib is most often a clinical indication of underlying pathology. With every possible underlying cause ruled out, this is how it can be managed:
- Medications to prevent stroke
- Drugs exclusive to A-fib
- Electric shock treatment (cardioversion)
- Pacemaker implantation
When to Visit a Doctor
Episodes of atrial fibrillation are characteristically intermittent or recurrent. While it may not be a lethal medical disorder itself, however, it must be managed appropriately to avert complications like stroke.
Schedule a visit with the Best Cardiologist in Islamabad if you experience any A-fib signs or symptoms. Go to the hospital right away if you experience chest pain. Your heart attack could be the cause of your chest pain!