Atrial fibrillation types
There are several types of atrial fibrillation:
- Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation: Your symptoms are mild or severe. They suddenly start and stop on their own. Symptoms usually last more than a day, but less than a week.
- Persistent atrial fibrillation: Your symptoms last more than a week at a time. They usually require treatment to stop.
- Permanent atrial fibrillation: You experience symptoms all the time. They do not go away even with treatment.
Symptoms of AFib
It’s possible to have AFib and not have any symptoms. Or you may experience one of these AFib symptoms:
- Irregular and rapid heartbeat
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid thumping inside the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Chest pressure
- Tiring more easily during physical activity
What causes AFib?
Your chances of developing an arrhythmia like AFib increase with age. Other factors that increase your risk include:
- Heart muscle damage from a heart attack, heart disease or other cardiac event
- Congenital heart abnormalities present (and possibly undetected) since birth
- Clogged arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Low mineral levels including potassium, magnesium and calcium
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid problems
- Lung problems, including asthma, emphysema, pulmonary blood clots or chronic lung disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Addictions to alcohol, nicotine or illegal substances
Diagnosis and treatment of AFib
Our electrophysiology (EP) labs are dedicated diagnostic labs where we test the electrical activity of your heart. Using specialized equipment, our team of experts accurately diagnoses your condition. Learn more about the advanced tests and technology we offer in our EP labs. Read more about arrhythmia diagnosis at Henry Ford.
We deliver the best available treatments including the newly approved LARIAT™ procedure and WATCHMAN™ device to lower the risk of stroke from AFib. We also offer cardiac ablation with 3D mapping or cryoablation. Learn more about the arrhythmia treatments we offer.