Beverly Hills Cardiology Consultation

Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms

Atrial fibrillation can occur periodically (paroxysmal) or continuously (chronic). The symptoms vary between individuals and can sometimes be subtle and barely noticeable. But for many people the symptoms of AF are obvious, uncomfortable, and even frightening. These symptoms can include a combination of the following sensations:

Heart Palpitations
A feeling of weakness, or fainting (Syncope)
Dizziness or faintness
Shortness of breath
Skipped heartbeats that are followed by a thud and acceleration of the heart
Chest pain, especially in adults who are older than 65
Rarely, blood pressure may fall and cause shock. This usually only occurs in individuals who also have severe heart disease.

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

There is a wide range of causes for the abnormal electrical signals of Atrial Fibrillation including:

Heart disease, such as cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and ventricular hypertrophy
Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and clogged arteries (atherosclerosis)
Heart surgery, including valve surgery and coronary artery bypass
Stress, fatigue, and excessive alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine consumption
Obstructive sleep apnea