5 Tips To Understand Atrial Fibrillation and Heart Disease
Atrial fibrillation is also known by other terms like AFib, AF etc. It is one of the commonest heart conditions that disrupt normal rhythm of your heartbeat.
Approximately 2.7 million people in USA are affected by atrial fibrillation and the numbers are expected to go up to 12 million by 2050. Such a grave statistics forecast about AFib makes it all the more important for everyone to learn about this heart disorder. It affects more of white American population than the Hispanic and African American population.
What Exactly Is Atrial Fibrillation?
Under normal conditions, the rate of your heartbeat is controlled by an electrical impulse. This impulse is generated within the heart itself by the S.A node (sinoatrial node). In Atrial fibrillation this electrical impulse runs haywire causing your heart to beat faster and irregularly. Normally your heart beats around 70-80 times per minute, but in AFib, the heart beats up to 400 times in a minute.
The upper chambers of the heart (atria) start to quiver erratically which hinders their normal function of collecting blood into the heart. As a result, the lower chambers (ventricles) which are meant for pumping blood out to the other organs do not receive sufficient blood.
This compromises blood flow to other organs of the body which finally bear the brunt of this Atrial fibrillation.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Despite causing such a grave effect on the heart and blood circulation, many people who go through Atrial fibrillation may not experience any symptoms at all. But the others who do experience symptoms usually complain of a racing heartbeat, fluttering or thumping within the chest over the heart region, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, weakness etc.
The most dangerous symptom however is chest pain or pressure in the heart area, because it may indicate a heart attack. You need immediate and urgent medical attention at this point and the earlier you reach the hospital the better it is for your survival.