By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of the most common causes of an irregular heartbeat is atrial fibrillation. It sounds frightening but many people with the condition live long, active lives. Some can even be cured.

However, it’s important to work closely with your doctor to find the right treatment for your specific needs.

Sometimes, atrial fibrillation occurs for no known reason. But certain underlying conditions can increase your risk. Examples include high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes, sleep apnea, and hyperthyroidism.

It’s important to pinpoint these health conditions. By treating them, you may improve your atrial fibrillation.

In case you are wondering, common symptoms may include palpitations (feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or thumping hard), shortness of breath, or dizziness

No matter how often you experience symptoms of atrial fibrillation, it’s important to see a doctor.

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