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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia, or heart irregularity, in which the heart beats fast and abnormally.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
Some common symptoms of atrial fibrillation include a fast and abnormal heartbeat, 'fluttering' of the heart, chest pains, dizziness or fainting spells.
What causes atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation can be caused by drugs, alcohol, caffeine, surgery, endocrine disorders, high blood pressure, inflammatory arterial diseases and coronary heart disease.
Who gets atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation can affect anyone, but is more prevalent in older people.
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
Atrial fibrillation can be treated by medications, electrical cardioversion (electric shock) or surgery to restore the heart's rhythm.
Can atrial fibrillation be cured?
Atrial fibrillation can treated to remove signs and symptoms. If you have experienced atrial fibrillation, there is a risk that it may come back at a later date.
Are there complications associated with atrial fibrillation?
Recurrent forms of atrial fibrillation can lead to pooling and clotting of blood in the heart. If the blood clot travels to the brain, it may block an artery and cause a stroke.
Can atrial fibrillation be fatal?
Yes, if left untreated atrial fibrillation can lead to a fatal stroke.
About this article
Author: Dr Bow Tauro PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 23 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Votes: 1046 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Atrial fibrillation