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First of 3 parts discussing Atrial fibrillation - What is it? Are there different types? Symptoms?

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Atrial fibrillation  Part 1


Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a heart rhythm problem. The heart may beat too quickly, too slowly or in an irregular pattern.


Types of arrythmia include:

  • Tachycardia: fast heart rate of more than 100 beats/minute.
  • Bradycardia: Slow heart rhythm below 60 beats/minute.
  • Supraventricular arrhythmias: Arrhythmias manifesting from the atria (heart’s upper chambers)
  • Ventricular arrhythmias: Arrhythmias manifesting from the ventricles (heart’s lower chambers)
  • Bradyarrhythmias: Slow heart rhythms due to disease in the heart’s conduction system affecting the sinoatrial (SA) node, atrioventricular (AV) node or the His-Purkinje network.


Atrial fibrillation is classed as a supraventricular arrhythmia (i.e.) manifests from the atria. Atrial flutter is another atrial arrhythmia caused by one or more rapid circuits in the atrium where heart beats are faster than normal. Atrial flutter is usually more organized meaning more regular than beats atrial fibrillation. Atrial flutter can be a symptom of atrial fibrillation or can occur without having atrial fibrillation.


Background to Atrial Fibrillation


Atrial Fibrillation (AF) characterised by irregular heart rhythm and tachycardia (fast heart rate). While atrial fibrillation can case physical symptoms like tiredness, breathlessness and chest tightness or chest pain, most experience no symptoms. AF could be described as a silent killer as it is often symptomless yet significantly increases risk of fatal heart problems like stroke and heart failure. AF increases the risk of up to stroke 5-fold. AF is managed with medication or procedures like an electrical cardioversion.


Booster Vaccine

If you have atrial fibrillation, you may be at more risk from COVID-19. Ask your doctor if you are eligible for the second Covid 19 booster. Whelehans Pharmacy Pearse St have a weekly walk-in clinic for Covid-19 boosters. Call 0449334591 for more info.


BPro Cardio Screen Service

Measures artery stiffness to identify risk of blockages and cardiovascular and circulatory disease. BPRo is placed like a watch on your wrist and is pain free. A pulse wave reads and calculates a wave signal that indicates the elasticity of large, small, and peripheral artery walls as well as tests for stress, central blood pressure, heart rate, and more. It is now €35 (was €50); it only takes about 15 minutes. The next clinic is Saturday July 30th (from 9am to 5pm) at Whelehans Pearse St. Book online on the Whelehans Website or by calling Whelehans at 04493 34591.

To be continued…next week


Disclaimer: BPro Cardio is not an alternative to medical assessment; it can indicate risk of cardiovascular events but is not a diagnosis

For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore) or

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