Atrial fibrillation and stroke
Atrial fibrillation is a fast or uneven heartbeat. When your blood is not flowing evenly, it can get stuck in your heart. There, it can form a blood clot. The blood clot can get pumped into the rest of the body. If it reaches the brain, it will cause a stroke. Managing atrial fibrillation will prevent blood clots from forming.
Click here to watch a series of videos to help you understand and support you with living with atrial fibrillation.
Do I have any of these signs of atrial fibrillation?
You may not feel any signs at all. But, some people notice:
- Uneven or fast heartbeat
- Thumping feeling in chest
- Chest discomfort, pain or pressure
- Trouble breathing (mostly while active or stressed)
- Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
Talk to your doctor if you think you may have atrial fibrillation. Your doctor can run a test called an electrocardiogram (ECG) to see if your heart is beating normally.
How can I manage atrial fibrillation?
You may need to:
- Take blood thinners. This will help prevent blood clots from forming in your heart.
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. For most people, this is at or a little below 120/80.