Atrial Fibrillation Specialist

Prime Heart and Vascular

Rishin Shah, MD

Cardiovascular Physician located in Allen, TX, Frisco, TX & Plano, TX

The pumping of your heart needs to maintain a balanced rhythm to keep you alive. Atrial fibrillation occurs when the two chambers in your heart beat at vastly disjointed speeds, causing severe and at times life-threatening consequences. Dr. Rishin Shah at Prime Heart and Vascular specializes in helping men and women living in or around Frisco, Allen, and Plano, Texas, maintain a steady heartbeat and avoid complications. Call or book an appointment online today for a potentially life-saving exam with a renowned cardiologist.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

Cells in your heart regulate the speed and rhythm at which your heart contracts and relaxes. This determines your blood flow, the health of your organs, and sustains your cognitive function.

When your heart experiences atrial fibrillation (AFib), its two upper chambers, otherwise called atria, don’t beat in coordination with the heart’s two lower chambers (the ventricles). Instead, the chambers beat at such a speed that the heart can’t adjust and, consequently, can’t deliver the proper amounts of blood to the rest of your body.

What are the leading causes of atrial fibrillation?

The main causes of AFib are multifold, though Dr. Shah has identified the most common. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Lung disease
  • Heart injuries
  • Viral infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Improper functioning of the heart’s organic pacemaker
  • Overexposure to stimulants, like caffeine or medication

What are the different types of atrial fibrillation?

There are four main types of AFib, each with its own set of symptoms and consequences.

Paroxysmal fibrillation

Paroxysmal fibrillation occurs when the heart finds its own rhythm without medical intervention within seven days. Symptoms of this type of AFib are unpredictable, though they most likely lead to chronic AFib.

Persistent AFib

You suffer from persistent AFib if your heart maintains an irregular rhythm for more than seven days. If this is the case, Dr. Shah can recommend a series of treatment options to bring your heart back to its normal sinus rhythm.

Long-standing AFib

This occurs when your heart maintains an irregular rhythm for 12 months. Long-standing AFib requires continued care and treatment.

Permanent AFib

In some cases, the heart doesn’t or can’t return to a regular rhythm. In this case, Dr. Shah helps you decide on the best long-term treatment option to keep you healthy and away from unnecessary health complications.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Though some patients don’t exhibit any atrial fibrillation symptoms, the most common include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Faintness
  • Sweating

Experiencing chest pain or pressure is considered a medical emergency, as you might be having a heart attack.

How do you treat AFib?

Dr. Shah provides expert treatment for AFib involving both non-surgical options and medication regimens.

Medication can help prevent and treat blood clots that arise in response to AFib. If left unattended, these blood clots can lead to severe strokes.

The most common non-surgical treatment for AFib is electrical cardioversion, which administers an electrical shock to the outside of the chest, effectively resetting your heartbeat to a regular rhythm.

You should contact Prime Heart and Vascular immediately if you feel you might be experiencing the symptoms of atrial fibrillation.