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Some people with atrial fibrillation, particularly older people, don't have any symptoms.
The abnormality in heart rhythm is often only discovered during routine tests or investigations for another condition.
Typically, a cardioversion (where the heart is given a controlled electric shock to restore normal rhythm) is carried out. At this point, many people feel much better and realise that they hadn't been feeling normal.
People often attribute tiredness and feeling lethargic to ageing, but once normal rhythm is restored, they realise that these symptoms were caused by atrial fibrillation.
The most obvious symptom of atrial fibrillation is heart palpitations – where your heart may feel like it's pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for a few seconds or possibly a few minutes.
As well as an irregular heartbeat, your heart may also beat very fast (often considerably higher than 100 beats per minute).
Other symptoms you may experience if you have atrial fibrillation include:
You should see your GP immediately if you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat and experience chest pain.