What happens during atrial fibrillation?
Atrial Fibrillation (AF or AFib) is the most common heart rhythm abnormality. The chances of having AF increases as we age, with 4 to 5 per cent of people aged seventy and over having it. But younger people can also develop AF is typically in response to certain triggers.
When you are diagnosed with AF, it means there’s an abnormality in your heart rhythm where the two upper, filling chambers of your heart, the atria, beat out of synch, creating chaotic electrical heart signals. The heart rates of these top chambers are often very high between 300 to 600 beats per minute. These rapid chaotic atrial signals kick the lower, pumping chambers of your heart, the ventricles, out of beat too, making your heartbeat irregular, with the ventricular chambers beating a little slower than the top chambers but you may see your pulse rate jump up to 100 to 175 beats per minute, compared to the normal pulse of 60 to 100 beats per minute.