Symptoms of AFIB
How to Tell If You Might Have AFIB
The heart is the most important muscle in the body, but if the nervous impulses to the heart malfunction, it starts to get palpitations from beating out of sync. Atrial fibrillation (AFib) happens when the atria, which are the upper chambers of the heart, no longer beat in coordination with the ventricles which are the lower chambers in the heart. This condition increases a person’s risk for heart attacks and strokes, so it is important to get proper treatment as soon as possible. Though the symptoms of AFib are so mild that it is often not noticed, you may have AFib if you are dealing with any of the following problems.
Symptoms of AFib
Not everyone with AFib experiences any symptoms. However, there are often certain signs that the heart is not beating in a correct rhythm. Possible warning signs or symptoms of AFib include:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Sensations of weakness
- Heart palpitations that feel like your heart is racing
- Chest pains
- Feeling of pressure or heaviness on chest
- Shortness of breath without cause
- Feeling dizziness or lightheadedness
- Confusion or brief memory loss
- Difficulty doing physically strenuous tasks
- Fluttering heartbeats
- Suddenly feeling anxious without cause
- Unexplained sweating
Complications of AFib
In addition to the basic symptoms that often accompany AFib, people may have AFib if they are experiencing a few other types of health problems. The irregular heartbeat caused by AFib can cause blood to pool in areas and begin clotting. Blood clots can cause many health problems, including stroke, heart failure, or deep vein thrombosis. People with AFib need to be on the lookout for these symptoms that can mean they may need to seek emergency medical help.
- Stroke Symptoms – AFib is associated with five times higher risk of stroke because a blood clot caused by AFib can block blood flow to the brain. Therefore, anyone with AFib should get medical help if they are slurring their words, cannot keep arms raised due to weakness, have a drooping face, or are unable to talk normally.
- Heart Failure Symptoms – Heart failure happens when AFib keeps the heart from pumping blood through the entire body properly. It is associated with shortness of breath, coughing, nausea, fatigue, confusion, and difficulty thinking.
- Heart Attack Symptoms – Heart attack risks for women are more than doubled if the person has AFib. A heart attack can cause chest pain, jaw pain, feelings of pressure or squeezing on the chest, and a sensation of fullness.
How to Tell If You Are Having AFib Symptoms
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they only have AFib if they are constantly experiencing severe versions of the above list of symptoms. However, it is important to understand that there is a lot of variation among AFib symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms may seem very strong, other times any AFib sensations are quite weak, and occasionally they go away altogether. Afib symptoms can last just a few minutes or they can continue without a pause for over a year. Since they come and go so quickly, it is important to visit a doctor if you notice any of the symptoms of AFib occurring.