Atrial fibrillation (or AF) is a heart rhythm disorder characterized by irregular and often rapid heartbeats. It occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (atria) beat chaotically and out of sync with the lower chambers (ventricles), leading to an irregular heartbeat.
In Australia, AF is a prevalent heart condition that can lead to serious health complications, such as stroke and heart failure. According to the Heart Foundation Australia, AF affects around 460,000 Australians. Its prevalence is expected to increase due to an aging population.
Palpitations: Feeling irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeats.
Shortness of Breath: Difficulty breathing or feeling breathless, especially during physical activity or at rest.
Fatigue: Unexplained tiredness or weakness that persists.
Dizziness or Fainting: Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or fainting spells.
Chest Pain or Discomfort: Chest pain, pressure, or discomfort, which may radiate to the neck, jaw, or arm.
If you notice any of these symptoms or have concerns about your heart health, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. A doctor can diagnose AF through a physical examination, medical history review, and additional tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG) or Holter monitoring.
Early detection and management of AF can help prevent complications and improve the overall prognosis. Your healthcare provider can discuss suitable treatment options, lifestyle modifications, and preventive measures tailored to your individual needs to support heart health and well-being.
Remember, always consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance regarding your health concerns.
Heart Foundation Australia