The effects of atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, can be strokes, blood clots, heart failure and other heart problems, according to the American Heart Association. If left untreated, atrial fibrillation doubles the risk of deaths caused by heart complications.
The likelihood of a stroke is five times higher when an individual has AFib, states WebMD. Many people with atrial fibrillation can live normal, healthy lives for years, but it's imperative that individuals with this condition take appropriate medications to enable a healthy life.
Atrial fibrillation causes strokes when blood clots form in the heart, which may separate and travel to the brain, explains Mayo Clinic. AFib can cause heart failure due to the weakening of the heart, which decreases blood circulation.
The main symptom of atrial fibrillation is a fluttering, quivering, irregular heartbeat, according to the American Heart Association, although some individuals experience no symptoms. Other common symptoms of AFib include fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, shortness of breath and confusion. Individuals who experience chest pain or pressure should immediately contact emergency medical personnel.
Atrial fibrillation has various classifications, according to the American Heart Association. With paroxysmal fibrillation, the heart goes back to its regular rhythm within seven days on its own. When the heart’s irregular rhythm lasts longer than seven days, it's referred to as persistent atrial fibrillation. With permanent atrial fibrillation, the condition lasts indefinitely and medical attempts to correct the condition are stopped.