AF is a heart condition that makes your heart beat out of rhythm and this can sometimes be fast.
Some people with AF do not experience any symptoms, although a fast heartbeat may be felt (some people describe these as ‘palpitations’). Other possible symptoms include:
AF can also be described as ‘persistent’, when episodes last seven days or more, ‘paroxysmal’ which spontaneously terminates within 7 days, usually within 48 hours, or ‘permanent’, when the heart rhythm disturbance is continuous.
The heart is made up of four chambers - the left and right atria (two upper chambers), and the left and right ventricles (two lower chambers).
AF occurs when chaotic electrical activity develops in the atria, disturbing your heart’s natural rhythm. As a result, the atria don’t contract properly, which means your heart cannot pump blood as efficiently as usual.