There are three different types of atrial fibrillation:
- Seizure atrial fibrillation (also called “paroxystic atrial fibrillation”): In this variety episodes of atrial fibrillation will suddenly come and go. These episodes are often of shorter duration, but can persist for up to a few days. Seizure atrial fibrillation usually goes away “by itself” – without the need for medical intervention. Episodes typically take place at night. Thus, it is not typical for episodes to be triggered by physical activity.
- Constant atrial fibrillation (also called “persistent atrial fibrillation”): This type of atrial fibrillation persists and is constantly present for many days – or does not go away on its own at all. It may be necessary to treat the condition with medication that can stop the flicker or with a shock to the chest (“DC conversion“).
- Chronic atrial fibrillation (also called “permanent atrial fibrillation”): This type of atrial fibrillation is no longer treatable and the flicker will be constantly present for the remainder of the patient’s life. The goal of treating this variety is not to cure the condition, but rather reduce the symptoms of atrial fibrillation, and minimize the risk of blood clot complications.
Patients can sometimes endure “persistent / constant atrial fibrillation”, although an occasional flicker is more common.
Often, the first cases of atrial fibrillation will be seizures. Unfortunately, many will find that over time these incidents become more frequent and last longer. This can worsen the condition which is why it is essential to get help as soon as you suspect you may have atrial fibrillation.