Atrial Fibrillation


People often complain about heart palpitation and breathing problems, but they are unaware of the actual cause of these problems. Suffering from asymmetrical heartbeat or breathing trouble is mainly caused due to Atrial Fibrillation. It can cause other health hazards like high blood pressure or obesity.

Atrial Fibrillation, also known as AF, develops at the heart's upper part. Once an individual suffers from this problem, it can lead to a messy heartbeat and downward movement of the atria.


Atrial Fibrillation develops abnormal heartbeat, which is also known as arrhythmia. This health hazard comes in different types.

  • Paroxysmal − It is a situation when an individual's irregular heartbeat returns to its regular rate within seven days. An irregular heartbeat can return to its normal position with treatment or without treatment.

  • Persistent − Once an individual suffers from irregular heartbeat constantly for more than seven days, it is known as persistent Atrial Fibrillation. The primary treatment for this health issue is cardioversion or applying electricity to the heart. This treatment will help to restore normal rhythm.

  • Long-Lasting Atrial Fibrillation − This health issue is similar to persistent Atrial Fibrillation, but lasts for more than a year.

Apart from those above, it is known as permanent AF when one cannot restore an individual's irregular heartbeat.


Individuals who feel an asymmetric heartbeat need to know the probable causes of AF. Many times people overlook the following symptoms and suffer from persisting AF. Hence, all must understand the probable symptoms of AF.

  • Individuals can suffer from a fast or fluttering heartbeat.

  • Constant dizziness or fatigue can cause AF.

  • If any person suffers from AF, it will reduce his ability to do a daily workout.

  • Shortness of breath and weakness are some common causes of Atrial Fibrillation.

  • Again, feeling excess fatigue can also generate the problem of AF.

Whenever a person suffers from the above symptoms, they should consult physicians.


People often ignore symptoms like an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, etc. But all should pay attention to this health hazard and must understand the probable causes. The sinus node, called the heart's natural pacemaker, fetches the signal for a natural heartbeat.

Usually, the signals from the sinus mode travel to the heart's upper chamber for a normal heartbeat. The heart receives this signal through the passage between the lower and upper chambers.

But when an individual suffers from AF, the signal in the upper chamber is chaotic. A person's normal heartbeat varies between 60 to 100 per minute, but in the case of AF, the heat-beat reaches 100 to 175 per minute. Individuals who have already suffered from coronary artery disease, problems in the heart valve, lung diseases, or heart surgery previously are more prone to get affected by AF.


  • Sleep Apnea

  • Any Viral Infection

  • Certain Medications

  • Tobacco Consumption

  • Excess Physical Stress


With advancements in medicine, many upgraded processes are used in treating Atrial Fibrillation. If the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation are not too much to worry about, doctors will suggest necessary medications. But if these medicines do not work, doctors recommend other treatment options.

  • Doctors often suggest Electrical Cardioversion, where doctors apply shock to the heart to normalize the heartbeat. Here at first, the patients are given medicines to fall asleep and will place paddles on the chest & back to give a shock. The patients will not be aware of the shock due to medications.

  • Another effective treatment is catheter ablation, also known as radiofrequency. Here doctors place the flexible tube in the neck or leg's blood vessel. Once this tube reaches the place of arrhythmia, this tube fetches signals to damage the cells that cause arrhythmia. This treatment option comes with two types- Radiofrequency Ablation and Cryoablation.

  • The next popular treatment option is the Maze process. Doctors suggest this treatment for patients undergoing open-heart surgery for other health problems.

  • Doctors suggest AV node ablation in case patients do not respond to medications. Sometimes, patients cannot take medications due to side effects, and doctors recommend AV node ablation treatment. Here the doctors will insert a catheter into the vein in the groin area and will guide it to the AV node position. Now radiofrequency is applied to destroy AV nodes, and the pacemaker is placed inside the heart. But this treatment can come with certain risk factors like stroke, heart attack, damage to the esophagus, bleeding around the heart, etc.

  • Another standard treatment to keep the heartbeat regular is the installation of a pacemaker. This small device will monitor the heartbeat and send indications to normalize the heartbeat.

Risk factors

There are risk factors due to which an individual can suffer from Atrial Fibrillation. Mentioned are the vital points

  • Age is the primary risk factor for AF. Older persons are more prone to suffer from AF. If an individual suffers from heart disease or high blood pressure, they can face the problem of irregular heartbeat.

  • It has also been noticed that people suffering from thyroid or other chronic health complications can suffer from AF.

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking can also cause AF.

  • Many need to be made aware that you can primarily check Atrial Fibrillation at home. You can check your pulse before visiting a physician. If you feel health issues like shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, or dizziness.

  • If your pulse rate is abnormal, it can be a sign of Atrial Fibrillation, and you need to consult with doctors immediately.

Besides the above treatment options, experts are conducting more research on complementary treatment options. Some effective complementation treatment options are acupuncture, practicing yoga, consumption of Omega 3 Fatty acids, and taking anti-oxidants.

Doctors also suggest consuming a proper nutritional diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to avoid atrial fibrillation.

Updated on: 24-Jan-2023


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