What is atrial fibrillation? Atrial fibrillation, also known as A-fib, is a fairly common condition that causes the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to beat quickly and in an uncontrolled manner (fibrillation). This irregular and often rapid heart rate often causes poor blood flow to the body and an irregular pulse.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation? Symptoms include:
Heart palpitations (irregular or rapid heartbeat)
Shortness of breath
Tiredness and weakness
Sometimes there is a sensation of fluttering in the chest. However, for many, there are no noticeable symptoms.
A-fib can be occasional (symptoms come and go over minutes or hours) or chronic (symptoms do not go away without treatment).
What puts you at risk? Often there is no obvious reason for developing A-fib. However, there are some factors that we know do cause it:
Excessive alcohol use
Medications that stimulate the heart
Coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart valve disease and a history of heart attacks
Pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart)
Hyperthyroidism (overactivity of the thyroid gland)
What is Atrial fibrillation? What is atrial fibrillation? Kent E. Morris, M.D., electrophysiologist with Norton Heart Specialists, explains atrial fibrillation, its causes, symptoms and how it's diagnosed.
If you think you may have A-fib or you have noticed any changes in your health, talk with your physician. If you don't have a primary care physician, visit our Find a Doc or call (502) 629-1234 for a physician referral.