Locations across Queensland within Queensland Cardiovascular Group

Phone (07) 3016 1111

What are the Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation?

Symptoms can be different for different people.

The symptoms of AFib can be vary greatly between people. Some people have no symptoms at all, while for others, AFib can cause significant discomfort and disruption to daily life.

Common Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

  • Palpitations – an awareness of heart beating differently, or out of time. 
  • Fast heart beat – it’s common to have a heart rate of 100-200 beats per minute, without any exertion.
  • Shortness of breath – you may find it difficult to catch your breath, even with simple activity like walking or climbing stairs.
  • Fatigue or tiredness – fatigue is very common, and in people who can’t feel their AFib rhythm in their heart, then this may be their only symptom.
  • Chest discomfort or pain – due to the heart not beating as efficiently
  • Dizziness, feeling Light-headed or Fainting – especially during more rapid episodes of AFib, you may feel dizzy or faint.
  • Going to the toilet frequently – needing to pass urine frequently is common, due to a hormone released by the heart when it is in AFib.

What does Atrial Fibrillation Feel Like?

There are lots of different ways that our patients describe their AFib. Some of these include:

  • Thunder rumbling in my chest
  • Like my shirt flapping
  • Like a fish flopping in my chest
  • Like a pressure, squeezing or fullness
  • Like thumping or bumping in the chest
  • Feeling exhausted or wiped out
  • fluttering like a butterfly
  • Pounding like I’ve run fast
what are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation