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.
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.
The main causes of AFib are multifold, though Dr. Shah has identified the most common. These include:
There are four main types of AFib, each with its own set of symptoms and consequences.
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.
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.
This occurs when your heart maintains an irregular rhythm for 12 months. Long-standing AFib requires continued care and treatment.
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.
Though some patients don’t exhibit any atrial fibrillation symptoms, the most common include:
Experiencing chest pain or pressure is considered a medical emergency, as you might be having a heart attack.
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.