Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, happens when the upper chambers of the heart beat very rapidly (300-600 beats per minute) and irregularly. When your heart beats inefficiently, not enough blood is pumped to the rest of your body. This can cause shortness of breath, fatigue and a higher risk of stroke.
Depending on your medical history, having AFib can cause blood clots to form. If a clot forms in an upper chamber of your heart, the clot could come loose and cause a stroke. That’s why one of the most common treatments for AFib is taking a blood thinner, or anticoagulant, to prevent clots from forming. Other AFib treatments include:
- Atrial fibrillation ablation
- Devices like pacemakers, defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization devices