What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?


Quick Answer

The symptoms of atrial fibrillation are shortness of breath, fatigue, heart palpitations, weakness, dizziness, confusion and chest pain, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Atrial fibrillation prevents the heart's ventricles from filling with blood, making it difficult for the heart to pump enough blood to the lungs and the rest of the body.

Continue Reading
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
Credit: Wendy Townrow E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

The ventricles are two of the chambers found in the heart. The other two chambers are called atria. When blood leaves the right atrium, it passes through the right ventricle. The right ventricle then pumps the blood to the lungs, according to MedlinePlus. In people with atrial fibrillation, the atria beat irregularly instead of moving blood into the ventricles. Experts from the American Heart Association say this condition increases the risk for stroke.

Preventing blood clots and restoring the heart's normal rhythm are the two goals of atrial fibrillation treatment, as per experts from the Mayo Clinic. Resetting the heart's rhythm is sometimes accomplished with a procedure called cardioversion. During electrical cardioversion, a health professional delivers an electrical shock to the heart. This temporarily stops the heart's electrical activity, but there is a chance the heart will resume its normal rhythm once it starts beating again. Medications may also be used to temporarily halt electrical activity and restore normal heart rhythm.

Learn more about Cardiac Health

Related Questions