What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation (or AF, for short) is the commonest Heart Rhythm Disorder. So what is a Heart Rhythm Disorder? Well, our heart is mostly a Muscle, but we are also born with an Electrical System that tells the muscle how fast to beat. When this electrical system goes bad, it is called an Arrhythmia (or Heart Rhythm Disorder).

People with this condition can experience palpitations (or pounding of the heart), irregular heart beats, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting (syncope), chest pains, shortness of breath, fatigue/feeling tired etc.

There are many types of arrhythmias depending on which specific part of the heart they start in. The commonest arrhythmia is known as Atrial Fibrillation or A Fib or simply AF, and it starts in the Left Upper Chamber of the heart (or Left Atrium), around veins known as Pulmonary Veins. In A Fib, the upper chambers of the heart (the Atria) beat very fast and irregular, driving the lower chambers of the heart (the Ventricles) to go fast and irregular. Other types of arrhythmias are called Atrial Flutter, Supraventricular Tachycardia (or SVT), Ventricular Tachycardia (or VT), Wolf Parkinson White syndrome (or WPW) etc.