Can afib last only a few seconds?

AFib or atrial fibrillation is a cardiac arrhythmia (fancy term used to describe an abnormal heartbeat) that affects more than 8 million individuals worldwide. Characterized by chaotic and rapid electrical signals causing the upper chambers of the heart, known as atria, to beat irregularly.

In simpler terms, it disrupts the heart’s usual pumping rhythm and can lead to blood clots in the body. Understandably, we all want answers when it comes to our haphazard palpitations, and one common question is “Can AFib last only for a few seconds?”

Well, let us waltz through this article to understand more about AFib episodes lasting just a moment.

Abnormal Rhythms – A Brief Overview of Afib

The human ❤️ beats at around 60-100 bpm (beats per minute), but during an AFib episode increases above normal range (>100bpm). In such instances, patients complain about their hearts racing or feeling heavy (ugh) pressure on their chest.

There are two types of AFIB episodes:

Paroxysmal

These are short-term occurrences that typically span less than 7 days before reverting back to the regular heartbeat pattern with no external assistance.

Persistent/Chronic

When your heart decides not to go home(revert back), needing medical intervention like cardioversion(drugs/electric shock).

Great! We have now understood what paroxysmal encompasses; let’s tackle head-on if ARBs(afib rhythmic buggers(sentient creatures)) sometimes do not get settled down even after raving for just moments?

Can An Arrhythmia Last For Just A Few Seconds?

Erratically behaving fancy electronic nodes residing inside our 🫀 can cause intermittent chaos resulting in scattered electrical impulses from time-to-time. These impulses can also mistakenly instigate AFib episodes that last only for a few seconds or minutes, known as “transient” AFib.

So, in short? Yes, it is entirely reasonable to experience AFIB episodes for mere moments without having any lasting impact on your heart’s health. It is relatively common and shouldn’t be something to lose sleep…or pace about(be still our racing hearts). But there are more things we need to look out for.

Signs & Symptoms of Transient Afib

AFib if left unaddressed or misdiagnosed, can lead to complications like stroke (no thank you). So let us review some signs and symptoms of transient AFIB Episodes:

  • Palpitations(Hey! That‘s where the band name comes from)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Unusual fatigues(Afibs do get tired too)
  • Confusion (but not arising due to their erratic heartbeat pattern(sighs heavily))

These symptoms might go unnoticed by many patients with transient episodes, but should ALWAYS consult your doctor when in doubt; because better safe than sorry!

Misdiagnosis: When No News Is Not Good News

Sometimes Doctors will fail to diagnose an individual with transitory 1❗AFib episode during subsequent visits solely based on ECG tests since they happen very quickly. These people end up getting diagnosed years later while treating other cardiac issues.

C’est la vie! We’ll take away what we gain from these oversights!

Understanding The Underlying Causes Of Paroxysmal Afibs

There are various reasons why someone may develop paroxysmal atrial fibrillations, such as;

1️⃣ High Blood Pressure

If you have hypertension,^2 odds are you’re more likely susceptible to AFib episodes!

2️⃣ Age

As our cells age, they can wear out, but for some of us, the threads unravel more quickly. Advanced age is a risk factor that increases the probability of developing paroxysmal Afib.

3️⃣ Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Think snoring😴. When breathing stops during sleep due to obstructed airways temporarily leading to decreased oxygen levels (hypoxia), these people are at an increased risk of developing transient or persistent (severe) atrial fibrillation.

Diagnostic Tests Used To Detect Paroxysmal Afibs

To establish if there are any irregularities within your heart’s rhythm, here are some medical tests:

  1. Electrocardiogram(ECG) – A non-invasive test used to capture and measure your heartbeat’s electrical signals.
  2. Event recorder/ Holter monitor – These machines record instances when patients push a button after experiencing palpitations(that feeling again!) or dizziness while doing everyday activities.
  3. Stress Test– Doctors may ask you to workout(glad it isn’t ‘work’) on a treadmill or stationery bicycle under medical supervision until your heartbeat reaches above normal range…or hope its beats like Shakira hips( wink wink ). After which they might do ECGs(yay!)

Great information so far; we’ve covered enough ground about Palimpsest(Please excuse me daydreaming!); now let’s return with steps in our pace!

Treatment Options For Brief Augmented Episodes Of AFIB

If you’re thinking “All this talk and no practical advice? Come on!”, We have good news—the long-awaited discussion on how briefAfib guests get sent off (bye-bye):

In most cases where AFib lasting only seconds occurs spontaneously infrequently, medical interventions like rhythm-control medications or therapies(antiarrhythmics) are not necessary.

In some cases, doctors might prescribe a blood-thinning drug (anticoagulant(licorice candy)) to prevent blood clots that could lead to stroke. Suppose someone gets diagnosed with transient AFIB; they must still monitor their heart’s health and get regularly checked by cardiologists.

Prevention – Stop the Arrhythmia Epic From Starting

Lifestyle choices can significantly impact your risk of contracting paroxysmal atrial fibrillation hells yeah!

Here are several things you can do to minimize the possibility of experiencing transient episodes:

  • Maintain healthy body habits – avoid junk food(self-explanatory since our hearts cannot exist without us)
  • Get adequate exercise
  • Quit Smoking(A smoker’s heart is before COVID age!)
  • Restrict alcohol consumption(reduce binge drinking)
  • Manage Stress(Friday Nights versus Monday Mornings!)

Actioning on these steps may put out possible initial sparks leading up to irregularly timed palps(Chic-chicka-bow-wow!)

Conclusion: Don’t Let Your Heart Take Unwanted Steps On The Dancefloor!

Overall? Yes, there are instances where Afib may last only for a few moments with little consequence overall… phew! But please remember that seeking treatment from professionals when in doubt is always critical.

We’ve highlighted symptoms of abnormal rhythms like paroxysmal Afib and causes along with diagnostic tests commonly used whilst covering ways proactively reducing risks through awareness🚨and healthy habitation!
Your heart deserves more than an unrhythmic tango folks!!!

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