What Does Atrial Fibrillation Feel Like Exactly?

Are you wondering if you’re suffering from atrial fibrillation but you’re not quite sure? Did you know that 12.1 million people in the United States will have it by 2030? 

What does atrial fibrillation feel like exactly? In this article, you’ll explore the answer to this question and more about this common condition. Read on to discover the common symptoms, and find out for yourself whether you have it or not before it’s too late. 

What Is AFib? 

If you have atrial fibrillation, it affects the upper chambers of your heart. The electrical signals it sends out can cause hundreds of beats per minute. This will impact the upper chambers from contracting correctly. 

It can be caused by high blood pressure, other untreated conditions, or complications after heart surgery. Sometimes, there might be no known cause. While treatment can help, it can cause serious complications later on. 

Keep in mind that having AFib can put you at an increased chance of other disorders that affect your heart. It can also increase your chances of a stroke or other heart conditions. 

What Does AFib Feel Like?

If you’re wondering, how do I know if I have Afib, the most common feeling is a fluttering heartbeat. This is due to the electrical impulses causing the top chambers in your heart(atria) to fibrillate. 

Other symptoms can include:

The Different Types of Atrial Fibrillation

There are 3 types of atrial fibrillation: chronic, persistent, and paroxysmal. If you have paroxysmal AFib you’ll notice different periods of discomfort. It can last a few days, while other times just a few minutes. 

Paroxysmal AFib

Paroxysmal AFib can make you feel like your heart is skipping a beat. Things to do to manage this include lifestyle changes and medication, it can sometimes go away. 

Persistent AFib

If you notice that your heartbeat is irregular for more than 7 days, it can fall under persistent AFib. It’ll require treatment in order to return to a normal state. 

Chronic AFib

This is considered the final stage of AFib, and can’t be changed. Treatment won’t work for this stage and might require a procedure known as catheter ablation. This will cauterize some of the electrical pathways that go to your heart. 

If you decide to go this route, this procedure isn’t guaranteed to stop the problem. You might experience it all of the time, or have it continuously. 

Heart Attack Warning Signs

If you have or think you might have AFib, it’s a good idea to know the signs of a heart attack since you’re at an increased risk. Some signs can include shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or discomfort in other parts of your body. Call your doctor immediately if you notice these signs or lightheadedness, nausea, or night sweats. 

Answering the Question To, What Does Atrial Fibrillation Feel Like?

Now that you’ve answered the question to, what does atrial fibrillation feel like, you should be well on your way to deciding whether it’s what you’re experiencing or not. Would you like to read more health topics? For everything from maintaining a healthy weight to exercise, check out our other articles today.