What is Atrial Fibrillation? Symptoms, Risks and More
By Alpro Pharmacy
April 19, 2022
We all know that feeling. That feeling when we were really angry, or that feeling when we were getting ready for the next presentation, or those butterfly flutters when we fall in love for the first time. It’s a normal response whereby our heart starts to beat faster than its usual rhythm. However, when our heartbeat starts to go off from its regular rhythm, it often signifies an underlying problem. This could be a sign of cardiac arrhythmia, which simply means irregular heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) happens when the upper 2 chambers of our heart (atria), lose their normal rhythm and become unsynchronised with the lower chambers of our heart (ventricles). This disrupts the normal blood flow from the atria to the ventricles and may lead to dire consequences.
Atrial fibrillation is classified into:
- Paroxysmal (lasts less than 7 days)
- Persistent (lasts more than 7 days)
- Permanent (present all the time)
Who is at higher risk of developing Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is more common amongst the elderly. Accordingly to an epidemiology study, the prevalence of AFib doubles with each decade of age, from 0.5% at 50-59 years to almost 9% at 80-89 years. There are also many risk factors for developing AFib, such as a history of heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and also smoking, and moderate to heavy alcohol use.
Does Atrial Fibrillation require treatment?
Atrial Fibrillation leads to dire consequences if left untreated. It is most often associated with developing a stroke. AFib was associated with approximately 5 times the risk of developing a stroke compared to another without AFib. Furthermore, the stroke caused by AFib is often more severe and results in long-term disability and even death.
Apart from stroke, AFib may also lead to the weakening of the heart, causing a reduction in quality of life and exercise capacity.
The tricky part with AFib is that it can easily go undiagnosed. Some individuals may have no symptoms, and some may report a variety of symptoms depending on the severity and underlying risk factors. Symptoms may include:
- Heart palpitations
- Tiredness and reduced exercise capacity
- Chest pain
This is why it is very important to go for a routine heart checkup especially if you have a history of heart diseases.
How do we get tested?
The most common method of diagnosing AFib is the ECG, which can be done at clinics or hospitals. But not all of us have the time to drop by a visit that frequently.
But now we have a way!
There are a lot of portable mobile devices available for quick and simple screening. One of the examples is the KardiaMobile. KardiaMobile offers a quick and simple screening process, and all you need is just 30 seconds!
The KardiaMobile is the most clinically-validated ECG in the world. It’s a portable mobile device that you can bring wherever you go. Doing the test is very simple, all you need to do is download the app, set the device down on a flat surface, and place 2 fingers each on the sensors. After 30 seconds, your results will be shown on the app, and you may use it to show your doctor for further interpretation.
Getting Your FREE ECG Screening
Alpro Pharmacy is now offering FREE Screening for Atrial Fibrillation at selected outlets. Drop by your nearest participating Alpro Pharmacy outlets for a quick screening now! No Appointment is Required!
Alpro Pharmacy PJ SS17
🚗No. 1088 (Ground Floor), Jalan 17/29, Seksyen 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Alpro Pharmacy Kota Kemuning
🚗No.61,Jalan Anggerik Vanilla N31/N, Kota Kemuning, Seksyen 31, 40460 Shah Alam, Selangor.
Alpro Pharmacy Bandar Puteri Puchong
🚗26G, Jalan Puteri 1/2, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor.
Alpro Pharmacy Bukit Indah
🚗No. 67, 67A, 67B, Jalan Indah 15/2, Taman Bukit Indah, 79100 Iskandar Puteri, Johor.
Alpro Pharmacy Taman Molek
🚗No. 2, Jalan Molek 2/1, Taman Molek, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor.
Alpro Pharmacy Biz Avenue
🚗No.35-G, Jalan S2 B18, Biz Avenue, 70300 Seremban 2, Negeri Sembilan.
Alpro Pharmacy Jalan Berserah
🚗A-401 Taman Sri Kuantan 111, Jalan Beserah, 25300 Kuantan, Pahang.
Alpro Pharmacy 3rd Miles
🚗Lot 2589, Ground Floor, Block 10, KCLD, 3rd Miles, Rock Road, Central Park Commercial Centre 3Rd Miles, Sarawak 93200.
Alpro Pharmacy Jln Munshi Abdullah
🚗112, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 75100 Melaka.
Alpro Pharmacy Sultan Yahya Petra
🚗Lot 6&7, Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra, Sek. 25, 15200 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.