AFib is not an uncommon word or condition – an estimated 12.1 million people in the U.S. will experience AFib in 2030 – but what does it mean? AFib is shorthand for atrial fibrillation, the rapid or irregular beating of the heart caused by abnormal electrical signals in the heart muscle, which may increase your risk of stroke and other heart-related complications.
Atrial fibrillation can present itself in different ways. Some people experience sudden and occasional symptoms, others have persistent symptoms that last longer than seven days and some people have permanent symptoms that often require intervention to correct. Common treatments for atrial fibrillation include ablation or medication.
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation vary, but often include:
- Palpitations (often described as “fluttering” or “flip-flopping” in the chest)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Some people don’t experience any symptoms of atrial fibrillation, the condition is only identified through a physical or another, unrelated screening.
While an atrial fibrillation diagnosis itself typically doesn’t present a life-threatening risk, it may signal additional, underlying issues. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss your risk of atrial fibrillation.