Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia. It also makes you 3-5-times more likely to have a stroke. The cardiology experts at Advanced Heart Care Associates have helped many patients lower their risk and stay healthy by providing customized treatments for atrial fibrillation. If you experience palpitations, shortness of breath, or chest pain, don't hesitate to schedule a heart evaluation. Call our Henderson, Nevada, or one of the two offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, or book an appointment online today.
Atrial fibrillation causes a fast and irregular heartbeat. Your heart's electrical system normally sends out one electrical impulse at a time, and that impulse activates each heartbeat.
When you have atrial fibrillation, many electrical impulses fire at the same time. As a result, your heart beats chaotically and rapidly.
The abnormal heartbeat prevents blood from flowing through the heart in its normal fashion. Instead, the blood flow slows down, which gives blood clots time to develop. If a clot leaves your heart, it can go to your brain and cause a stroke.
Atrial fibrillation most often develops when a health condition damages your heart's electrical system or muscles. The most common causes include:
An overactive thyroid gland may also lead to atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation causes symptoms such as:
You may not have any symptoms other than fatigue until the heart disease causing the arrhythmia reaches an advanced stage.
After a physical exam, your provider runs blood work and performs diagnostic tests. They begin with an electrocardiogram (EKG) and may also do an echocardiogram and stress testing.
If an irregular heartbeat doesn't show up on your EKG, your provider may ask you to wear a Holter or event monitor for a few days. These devices monitor your heart rate and capture irregularities that didn't appear in the office.
Advanced Heart Care Associates also uses Medtronic loop recorder implants. Your provider implants the device under your skin, where it continuously picks up the electrical signals from your heart. The implant can record data for months, allowing it to find infrequent irregular heartbeats.
Atrial fibrillation treatment focuses on controlling your heart rate and preventing blood clots. Treatment options that effectively achieve those goals include:
Your provider also treats other existing conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as obesity, sleep apnea, or an overactive thyroid gland.
If you notice any signs of atrial fibrillation, call Advanced Heart Care Associates or book an appointment online today.