What Is Afib?

According to the American Heart Association, Afib or Atrial Fibrillation is the most common serious abnormality of a heart rhythm in people over the age of 65. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware that if this condition is left untreated, their chance of a heart-related death is doubled and their risk for strokes is increased by 4 to 5 times. Recent studies show that an estimated 2.7 million Americans are living with this condition.

What Is Afib?

Well, Afib affects the heartbeat, making it irregular or quiver. This is called an arrhythmia. Certain cells in the heart make electrical signals controlling the pumping action of the heart. With each heartbeat the heart pumps blood into and out of its chambers and then to the rest of the body. Atria are the two upper chambers of the heart that contract to receive the blood and the ventricles are the two lower chambers that contract to send the blood throughout the body. With Afib blood doesn’t pump effectively from the atria to the ventricles as the atria quiver. This causes the blood to pool and increases the risk of blood clot. As this occurs, patients are at risk of blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other complications related to the heart.

If a clot is formed due to pooling of blood and then breaks off, it can enter the bloodstream and lodge itself in an artery leading to the brain, thus causing a stroke. Approximately 15% to 20% of patients who have had strokes have this arrhythmia.

Types of Afib

When answering the question “what is Afib” one should also know there are different types of Afib. The symptoms are basically the same. And it is the duration and the underlying causes of Afib that determine its type. Here are three type of Atrial Fibrillation:

What Causes Afib?

Now that we have known "what is Afib", let's find out what can lead to Afib and who are more prone to it. The following lists some of the main causes:

Afbi Risk Factors

Afib may happen to anyone, but the following people are at higher risks of developing Afib.

Signs and Symptoms of Afib

Without knowing the symptoms of Afib, you can never say you know "what is Afib". Some patients are unaware they have Afib as there are no apparent symptoms present. Therefore, it is necessary for patients to keep these signs and symptoms in mind, especially if certain risk factors are present at well:

Treatment Options for Afib

Knowing how to deal with Afib is the most important part of "what is Afib". Treatment of Afib for every patient may vary as it depends on how long the Afib has persisted, the severity of symptoms, the underlying causes and the health condition of the patient. The goal of treatment for Afib is to restore the natural rhythm of heart and prevent blood clots.Listed below are some effective methods:

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