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How can someone tell if a person has atrial fib?

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Quick Answer

The presence of chest pain or difficult breathing are a few symptoms of atrial fib. Other signs include fatigue, dizziness and confusion, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Atrial fib is usually difficult to detect as it does not cause any dramatic symptoms in the beginning. Therefore it is normally detected during routine health checks or by a racing or irregular pulse, states WebMD. A noticeable symptom of atrial fib is sudden chest pain followed by dizziness. The patient can appear confused and disoriented as a result of the discomfort. In some cases the patient may feel lightheaded and may lose consciousness.

Another pointer that can suggest atrial fib is a racing or irregular pulse and a feeling of intense fatigue and weakness. The patient may also complain of palpitations in the chest, according to WebMD.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregularity in the normal beating rhythm of the heart and can lead to heart failure or a stroke, notes Mayo Clinic. Habits such as heavy drinking or smoking can cause it. Those who have suffered a previous heart attack, high blood pressure or coronary heart disease are susceptible to it as well. Sleep apnea, stress, viruses, lung diseases and overactive thyroid are other possible causes.

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