Many conditions can affect the way the heart pumps blood. Sometimes, conditions cause a rapid and irregular heartbeat to develop. This condition is referred to as Afib. Unfortunately, some people have Afib and are not aware. When this condition does not cause obvious outward signs, it is called silent Afib.
Afib Can Be a Serious Condition
When someone has atrial fibrillation, their heart beats out of rhythm and may beat way too fast. The irregular beating of the heart causes the upper chambers to contract irregularly. Unfortunately, Afib can lead to blood clots which can travel to the brain and cause strokes. It is essential this condition is diagnosed as quickly as possible to ensure the individual is treated so they do not develop complications.
What Are the Symptoms of Afib?
Afib has multiple symptoms, but they are often associated with other issues, so it can be difficult for a person to know if they have the condition. The following are some of the most common signs of this heart condition. If a person has noticed any of these signs, they need to seek care from a doctor right away.
- Chronic fatigue or a lack of energy
- A racing heartbeat or a feeling of fluttering in the chest
- Uneven or fast pulse
- Chest pressure or shortness of breath
- Frequent urination
- Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness
- Weakness and sweating
If someone has several of these symptoms, it is essential they report them to their doctor right away. The doctor will use several criteria to diagnose Afib in a patient. Once diagnosed, individuals with Afib have multiple options for treatment.
How Is Afib Diagnosed?
When a doctor suspects a patient has Afib, they will listen to the heart first. A count of the pulse is also an important indicator for Afib. Tests like EKG and electrocardiogram may reveal heart issues, such as Afib.
It is important to note that some cases of Afib are only temporary, and the condition may go away on its own. In some cases, a person may need treatment to help prevent blood clots and strokes that may occur with Afib.
Yes, Afib Can Be Silent
Some people have Afib and do not even know they have the condition because the signs are so minor or are thought to be caused by other reasons. If a person suspects their heart is beating out of rhythm, it is essential they talk with their doctor.
Afib is not a condition to take lightly because it can cause serious blood clots to develop, and people have suffered from heart attacks and strokes because of this condition.
Because the heart is beating rapidly with Afib, this condition does cause the heart to weaken, especially when a person does not receive treatment. A weakened heart could eventually fail because it cannot pump blood to the organs and throughout the body. With treatment for Afib, a high heart rate can be reset, helping to prevent blood clots and weakening of the heart muscle.
Some Are More at Risk Than Others
Some people are more at risk for developing Afib. Those who are older, have a family history of Afib, and are obese are more likely to suffer from conditions that cause irregular heartbeats. If a person suspects they may have this heart condition, they should schedule a doctor’s appointment right away to discuss the matter with their physician.