All You Need to Know about the Signs and Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Some patients with Afib have no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms that patients with atrial fibrillation face are fluttering sensations in the chest, also known as palpitations. Other common symptoms of this condition are feeling tired, having short breath, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, and sometimes losing consciousness. It is not well-established why some people with atrial fibrillation experience symptoms, and others do not. In many patients, the display of signs can be associated with one having a faster heartbeat. However, you can still get some patients experiencing symptoms even when their heart rate is not fast. In fact, some patients experience symptoms in their heart beats too slowly during atrial fibrillation. The most common sign of atrial fibrillation is an irregular pulse, which is confirmed by listening to the heart using a stethoscope when a patient goes for physical examination.
You can find some people who experience symptoms of atrial fibrillation in times of episodes that happen and then disappear. It is vital to get immediate medical attention if you experience any or all the symptoms of atrial fibrillation at any point. Atrial fibrillation in itself does not pose a direct and immediate death risk, and patients can live with the condition for many years. That said, the condition can cause severe complications in one’s body. The serious complications include suffering a stroke or heart failure.
Stroke is the most commonly experienced and severe complication that atrial fibrillation causes. 5% of patients with atrial fibrillation experience stroke every year. In comparison to people without atrial fibrillation, people with atrial fibrillation have five times increased risk of experiencing a stroke. A stroke happens either when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked or starts bleeding. Most patients experience strokes caused by blockage more than those caused by bleeding. The part of the brain involved will impact the level of symptoms that you experience as a result of the stroke. Some of the signs you may experience if you have a stroke are experiencing strange sensations on one side of your body, numbness, especially on one side, having trouble understanding other people are communicating with them, severe headaches, severe dizziness, difficulty in swallowing, and having trouble walking or staying balanced. If you experience any of the signs, you should see a doctor immediately, even if the signs go away after a while.
Patients can also experience heart failure if they have had long-standing atrial fibrillation, which happens when the heart struggles to send enough blood to organs and tissues.