1) Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (occasional): The AF comes and goes spontaneously, and usually last for a few minutes to hours. Patients may feel intermittent palpitations with this.
2) Persistent: The AF might last for more than seven days and require treatment with medication to restore a normal heart rhythm.
3) Long-standing persistent: The AF occurs often for a period of more than a year.
4) Permanent: AF is continuously occurring and the patient accepts that this will be long-term.
If atrial fibrillation (AF) is left untreated, it can lead to life-threatening complications like strokes or heart failure.
1) Stroke Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke by five times.
Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of stroke by five times.
For patients with AF, the upper chambers of their heart are not pumping effectively. As such, blood flow is slow or stagnant which may cause blood clots to form. If these blood clots travel through the blood stream and block the arteries in the brain, a stroke can happen.
2) Heart Failure
AF can weaken the heart by making the heart work harder and reducing its ability to pump blood around the body efficiently. As the heart beats rapidly, it is unable to completely fill up with oxygen-rich blood to transport to the brain and other parts of the body, leading to fatigue, shortness of breath, and even causes fluid to build up in the lungs, legs, ankles and feet.
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