One of the more common cardiac conditions we encounter at Virginia Arrhythmia Consultants is atrial fibrillation. Also known as “AFib”, atrial fibrillation occurs when the upper chambers of the heart, the atria, begin to quiver, causing the heart to beat inefficiently. This stresses the heart and can create blood clots that may travel outside the heart and cause strokes or other problems.
AFib is a serious condition that needs our attention as soon as you suspect it. Most cases of AFib can be managed very well by our team, but the first steps are for you to realize you are experiencing symptoms of AFib and come see us. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.
We all have those days when we feel a little off. Sometimes we haven’t been eating right or getting enough sleep, but when that feeling occurs on a regular basis, it could be a result of the inefficient heart action created by AFib.
Rapid, Irregular, or Unusual Heartbeat
The quivering of your atria is sometimes very easily felt in your chest. It may feel like your heart is out of rhythm or just racing without explanation. You may also simply feel like you’ve got something thumping or shuttering in your chest. All these symptoms are suggestive of AFib.
AFib can also create dizziness because your brain is receiving a little less oxygen than it should due to the inefficient performance of your heart. We all experience occasional dizziness from sinus issues or even from just standing up too quickly, but more persistent dizziness without any other explanation could indicate AFib.
Weakness or Undue Fatigue from Exercise
Again, these are symptoms that are not that unusual and are easy to blame on something else, but when there’s a good reason for them, you don’t have to figure out how to explain them away. When your daily routines or typical exercise activities are taking more of your energy than they normally do, you may be experiencing AFib and should give us a call.
Confusion or Anxiety
Your brain is a hard-working organ that requires a lot of blood to support its need for oxygen. When AFib is impacting your heart’s performance, the supply of oxygen to your brain is diminished and can cause symptoms that seem more emotional than physical. Unexplained confusion or nervousness can be some of these symptoms.
Chest Pain, Pressure, or Tightness
Many cardiac issues can cause these symptoms, and they are all potentially serious and even deadly. If you are experiencing any of them, don’t waste time trying to blame them on something else. Get to the emergency room right away.
Our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating AFib and many other cardiac conditions. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, give us a call so that we can get started on restoring your normal rhythm.