Many health issues are known for being able to sneak up on us and develop without us ever being aware of their presence. Although, in most cases, it is about us failing to recognize the present symptoms and link them to any health issue. One quite serious health issue of that kind is the “Silent AFib.”
Because of how serious and potentially deadly can this health issue be, it is important to notice the first signs of its presence.
To make that easier and more convenient for you, here is a checklist. You can go through it in just a couple of minutes to find out whether or not you should be speaking to your doctor as soon as possible.
What Do You Need to Know About “Silent Afib,” and Why Is That Important?
Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, is the most common type of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. It is caused due to irregularities in the functioning of the atria, or the upper heart chambers, which then disrupts the overall blood flow. If not treated in time, AFib can easily cause stroke and other heart issues.
As the term implies, silent AFib refers to an asymptomatic form of AFib. The term asymptomatic means that in this case, the AFib does not cause the characteristic signs and symptoms that usually lead to its diagnosis and discovery. What is characteristic of the silent AFib is the fact that it is commonly discovered during a routine clinical examination, such as those that involve pulse palpation or a routine electrocardiogram (ECG).
But in most cases of a silent AFib, most of the characteristic signs and symptoms are there; they are just so mild and vague that the individual is not linking them to any heart condition.
The silent AFib can also cause no symptoms whatsoever or simply cause non-specific symptoms that are hard to trace back to the existing heart issue.
The symptoms have the habit of coming and going, which only adds to the already difficult situation in which the patient can recognize them and report their presence to their doctor.
The Ultimate Checklist That Can Help Reveal a Silent Afib
Many of the usual AFib symptoms are subtle, which can lead to confusion. You may think that you are out of breath or simply not in the mood to go for a walk when in actuality, you are battling a case of silent AFib that exposes you to the risk of stroke.
One of the most common diagnostic methods used today is the use of a checklist. The patient and the doctor usually go through a checklist that consists of different factors and symptoms to help lower the number of potential causes.
To help put an end to your worries, we too compiled, what we want to call, the ultimate silent AFib checklist.
This checklist will help you to recognize your symptoms better and later consult a doctor if needed.
How Old are You?
Whether you are:
- Under the age of 25;
- Between 25 and 40 years old;
- Between 40 and 65 years old;
- Above the age of 65.
Your age matters since older age is a known risk factor for AFib. As research shows, it is those above the age of 65 that are exposed to the highest risk of AFib.
Silent AFib Symptoms
Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?
- Heart palpitations that last longer than 15 seconds;
- Shortness of breath;
- Chest pain;
These are some of the most common symptoms of AFib. The most characteristic of them all is the heart palpitations that have occurred for no particular reason. This is a result of the too many electrical signals that are being sent to the atria as your heart is going through AFib. If you often feel as if your heart is about to jump out of your chest without reason, do schedule a visit to the doctor.
Because of the disrupted blood flow, your organs are not getting enough oxygen.
Because of that, symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting take place. If you experience these symptoms, again, without a particular reason, it may be a case of AFib that you are struggling with. Chest pain and tightness are also often reported by patients who were later diagnosed with AFib.
Other Health Problems
Have you been diagnosed with any of the following health issues?
- High blood pressure;
- Heart disease;
- Thyroid issues;
- Lung disease;
- Sleep apnea;
- Chronic kidney disease, etc.
All of these health issues have been listed as potential risk factors for AFib. Having a family history of AFib increases your risk of getting diagnosed with the same issue as well.
Additionally, consider whether have you experienced any heart rhythm problems?
- All the time;
- From time to time.
As we mentioned earlier, AFib causes symptoms that have the habit of coming and going away on their own.
If your heart rhythm issues are present all the time, then it may not be AFib that you are experiencing, but rather some other heart issue.
Use of Medications
Have you now/or in the past been taking any of the following medications?
- Antineoplastic drugs, etc.
As a study published back in 2017 suggested, your AFib may be drug-induced. Science has found that certain medications, including the ones that we mentioned, increase the risk of AFib.
Alternative Silent Afib Monitoring Method
When there are so many things that affect our health we don’t have time and money to visit doctors again and again. However, this does not apply to silent atrial fibrillation if you can manage regular checkups on your own.
Personal health tracking devices including ECG, more and more are becoming a part of our daily lives. Allowing to detect heart health conditions outside the doctor’s office. This solution within simple, fast, and effective heart measurements detects signs of existing or potential silent AFib risks.
Silent AFib is very often not silent at all. The problem is that we fail to recognize its clear symptoms in time. We hope that with today’s checklist, we have helped at least one person to recognize what are the most common symptoms, but also risk factors, for AFib in general and schedule their visit to the doctor.