Signs And Symptoms Of AFib

Atrial fibrillation or AFib is characterized by an abnormal heartbeat. If this goes untreated, it can potentially increase the risks for strokes, cardiac complications, blood clots, and cardiac failure. AFib causes the blood circulation to slow down, which can potentially lead to blood clots. Over 2 million Americans have been diagnosed with AFib (CDC), while the risks increases with age.


Signs and Symptoms

  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Fatigue after Slight Exertion
  • Pressure or Discomfort in the Chest Area
  • Heart Palpations or Fluttering
  • Dizziness
  • Tachycardia (increased pulse) 100-175 bpm

Classifications

  • Occasional (paroxysmal AFib) symptoms occur and last up to several minutes to several hours, then stop without any type of treatment.
  • Persistent symptoms will continue, until treatment is rendered, which may involve electrical shock therapy and/or atrial fibrillation medications (anticoagulants, beta blockers)
  •  Permanent symptoms occur and the cardiac rhythm cannot be restored, even with medication or treatment

Etiology

There are many factors that have been linked to AFib including:

  • Hypertension
  • AMI or MI (heart attack)
  • CAD (coronary artery disease)
  • Congenital Heart Defects
  • Hyperactive Thyroid Gland
  • Stimulants (caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol)
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome (anomaly of the sinus node or cardiac conduction system)
  • Anomaly of the Heart Valves
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Previous Cardiac Surgery
  • Viral Infections
  • Stress Due to Bacterial Infections, Surgery, and Other Illnesses
  • Sleep Apnea