What is atrial fibrillation?

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Atrial fibrillation is a condition wherein the atrial chambers of the heart beat irregularly and often rapidly causing various problems in terms of the heart’s overall function.  The arrhythmia caused by problems in the atrial chambers also causes a concern to the way the ventricles pump out blood to the rest of the body.  When there is atrial fibrillation, the heart beats irregularly and this may cause some blood to clot in the heart.  When any of this blood clots are dislodged and reach the small blood vessels in the brain, people may get a stroke.  Depending on severity some people will be generally healthy and do not need treatment when they have atrial fibrillation.  Severe cases of this condition meanwhile require medical treatment through medications or surgery.

With irregular heartbeats associated with atrial fibrillation, people are expected to experience palpitations and possibly chest pains.  In some cases, people with atrial fibrillation will feel dizzy or nauseated most of the time.  The disruption in blood flow from the atrial chambers to the ventricles and eventually to the body will also affect people’s in terms of their overall energy levels.  Some patients will be too tired of doing simple daily tasks when they have atrial fibrillation.  Milder cases of this disease also feature an intermittent pattern of cardiac arrhythmia.  The irregular heartbeats simply come and go for some patients with atrial fibrillation.

People with high blood pressure and those with valvular disease are considered at high risk to develop atrial fibrillation.  Congenital diseases of the heart and myopathies may also lead to the development of atrial fibrillation.  A history of surgery, lung disease, or even sleep apnea may also lead to the development of this disease.  Some potent drugs may also cause the classic cardiac arrhythmia of atrial fibrillation.  Treatment for atrial fibrillation may include anti-blood clotting medication and drugs that help control the rhythm of the heart.  In severe cases, surgery is often prescribed.

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