Atrial fibrillation , also known as AFib or AF, is an irregular heartbeat arrhythmia that can lead to various heart-related complications such as blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. AFib is a serious condition that can occur without any signs or symptoms but can result in life-threatening complications if left untreated. In AFib, however, disordered or rapid electrical signals cause the atria to contract too quickly and chaotically fibrillate. To maximize the efficiency of the heart and to avoid various diseases, the upper and lower chambers of the heart should work as a team. AFib may occur in brief episodes, or it may be a permanent condition. Sometimes, emergency medical assistance is necessary.
Everything You Need to Know About Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation: Common, serious, treatable - Harvard Health
This guideline covers diagnosing and managing atrial fibrillation in adults. It aims to ensure that people receive the best management to help prevent harmful complications, in particular stroke and bleeding. In August , recommendation 1. The update will focus on:.
Back to Health A to Z. Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. In atrial fibrillation, the heart rate is irregular and can sometimes be very fast. Read more about the symptoms of atrial fibrillation. When the heart beats normally, its muscular walls contract tighten and squeeze to force blood out and around the body.
Atrial fibrillation also called Afib is an irregular heartbeat. Normally, the heart contracts and then relaxes in a regular rhythm, moving blood from the upper chambers atria into the ventricles. In Afib, the atria beat irregularly instead of in a steady pattern. Due to this irregularity, people with atrial fibrillation are at a higher risk of blood clots, heart failure, stroke and other heart-related complications. Sometimes people with Afib have no symptoms and their condition is only found during a physical exam.