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Details to Help You Understand Atrial Fibrillation
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Atrial fibrillation’s common name is Afib. Among the common symptoms of Afib are palpitations. Other signs that are common are shortness of breath, losing consciousness, and feeling tired a lot. It is also possible to find patients with atrial fibrillation but who do not have any symptoms. It has not been clearly established why some people with this condition experience symptoms while others do not. Most of the patients will experience a faster heartbeat alongside the presence or absence of symptoms. In some patients, experiencing symptoms can be related to the heart beating too slowly during atrial fibrillation. During a physical examination, doctors will look out for an irregular pulse using a stethoscope to confirm the presence or absence of atrial fibrillation.
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Some patients who suffer this condition can have symptoms that make them feel ill, especially when they have episodes of the condition which come and go. If you experience some or all of the symptoms mentioned, you must seek medical attention.
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Afib itself may not be a direct and immediate risk of death, and many patients live with the condition for many years. However, it is possible to experience severe complications from the condition, such as heart failure and stroke.
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Stroke occurs at the rate of 5% annually in patients with atrial fibrillation. A person with the condition has five times increased risk of experiencing a stroke compared to someone without it. The strokes happen either because a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked or they start bleeding. The most common type of stroke for people with this condition is that caused by a blockage. The blockage happens since blood cells stick together and increase the risk of clots, which get into the bloodstream and cause a blockage in the arteries. The root cause of this problem is uncoordinated electrical activity in a person’s atria. Whenever the blockage happens in the brain arteries, a stroke is caused.
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The type of a stroke that you will suffer or the extent of symptoms that you will experience as a result of the stroke can vary depending on the part of the brain that is involved. The consequences of the stroke will be more significant when you have a bigger clot which has caused a significant blockage in the artery. You need to seek medical attention if you have any symptoms that point to the presence of a stroke.
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When a patient suffers Afib for a long time, they can develop heart failure. A person with heart failure due to other reasons may also end up suffering from Afib.
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