Did you know that September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month? Atrial fibrillation, sometimes referred to as a-fib, is a heart condition where the two upper chambers of the heart (the right and left atria) beat irregularly and out-of-sync with the two lower chambers, the right and left ventricles. This can make you feel weak and short of breath, and you may feel like your heart is racing or beating our of your chest.
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation can include:
- Palpitations — the feeling that your heart is racing, beating irregularly or skipping a beat, “flopping,” or beating our of your chest
- Decreased blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
These symptoms may happen frequently, or you may only have occasional episodes. If you are experiencing or have experienced symptoms of atrial fibrillation, it’s important to see a doctor. He or she can tell you if you have a-fib or a different heart arrhythmia, or if a lifestyle choice like excessive caffeine consumption or drinking alcohol could be affecting your heart.
Remember, if you’re experiencing chest pain, you should seek immediate medical help. Chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack.