What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder. In this arrhythmia, the heart beats irregularly and not in a steady rhythm as might be expected. Atrial fibrillation can even lead to a stroke.

The heart consists of 4 compartments through which blood flows. The upper 2 are the atria. If the atria move irregularly, blood flow can be disrupted, causing blood to clot. This causes a blood clot or clotting. Over time, the blood clot can detach and be carried in the bloodstream all the way to the brain. The blood vessels in the brain are very small. A blood clot can cause this to clog the vessel. Parts of the brain are then no longer supplied with oxygen so these parts will die. This is called a stroke. The result of a stroke can include permanent paralysis, speech impairment, sensory disturbances or even death.

Individuals who suffer from atrial fibrillation have a much higher risk of having a stroke than normal. It is therefore important to be aware of an arrhythmia so that it can be treated in a timely manner by a doctor or general practitioner.

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias. It can be life threatening in the long run if not treated appropriately and in a timely manner. Atrial fibrillation is more common in the elderly. Among those over 85, more than 18% suffer from it. It is also more common in obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure) and people who suffer from apnea. Diabetic patients have a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

 

Symptoms atrial fibrillation

When the heart rhythm is erratic, it is easy to feel. In particular, the transition from a normal heart rhythm to atrial fibrillation. Common symptoms are:

  • A pounding heart
  • An irregular heartbeat (fluttering)
  • Squeezing sensation in the chest.
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

 

Diagnosing atrial fibrillation

There are several ways to diagnose atrial fibrillation. The main examinations are:

  • Cardiogram (ECG)
  • Ultrasound
  • Holter monitoring
  • AFib detection blood pressure monitors

 

AFib detection on blood pressure monitors

There are blood pressure monitors with special AFib detection. When measuring, these blood pressure monitors indicate whether an irregular heartbeat is detected. A symbol will then light up. If this happens regularly, it is wise to consult your family doctor. It can then be investigated further.

To detect atrial fibrillation with a blood pressure monitor, multiple measurements should be taken. The blood pressure monitor will then automatically measure blood pressure several times. A rest period of 15 to 30 seconds takes place between each measurement.

The blood pressure monitors in our range with AFib detection:

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