Good Heart Medical Group, Inc.
Board Certified Cardiologist & Interventional Cardiology located in Santa Ana, CA & Garden Grove, CA
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that can increase your risk of heart failure, strokes, and other complications. At Good Heart Medical Group, Inc., in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, California, Amer Zarka, MD, and his team offer several advanced diagnostics to determine the underlying cause of your condition. The team specializes in comprehensive care and works with you to choose the most effective treatment. To speak with a doctor about your heart health, book your appointment by phone or schedule online today.
Atrial Fibrillation Q & A
What is atrial fibrillation?
Your heartbeat is controlled by electrical impulses that travel from the upper to the lower chambers of your heart.
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the two upper chambers of your heart (atria) beat erratically. Atrial fibrillation results from irregular electrical impulses that cause the upper chambers of your heart to beat out of sync with the lower chambers (ventricles).
While some cases may come and go, some people develop chronic or permanent atrial fibrillation. Without treatment, atrial fibrillation can lead to serious complications like blood clots, strokes, or heart failure.
What causes atrial fibrillation?
In most cases, atrial fibrillation is caused by damage or abnormalities to the structure of your heart. Several underlying conditions can affect the structure of your heart, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Coronary artery disease
- Congenital heart defects
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Viral infections
- Sleep apnea
In some cases, atrial fibrillation can develop with no apparent cause. Certain factors such as age, obesity, or history of heart disease can increase your risks of atrial fibrillation.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation include:
- Racing or irregular heartbeat
- Fluttering or pounding heart
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Atrial fibrillation typically results in a rapid heart rate. Not everyone with atrial fibrillation experiences symptoms. If you experience symptoms, let the specialists at Good Heart Medical Group, Inc., determine the best solution for your condition.
How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?
Atrial fibrillation has a long list of potential causes, so an accurate diagnosis is key to treating your condition. After performing a physical and discussing your symptoms, your doctor may perform additional tests like:
- Holter monitor
- Blood test
- Stress test
Your doctor uses these tests to determine the severity of your condition as well as the underlying source. After your diagnosis, your doctor works with you to choose the most appropriate treatment.
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
The treatment goal is to restore your heart’s rhythm and prevent complications like blood clots or a stroke.
In most cases, your doctor uses a simple procedure called cardioversion to coordinate the electrical impulses in your heart. After the procedure, your doctor may prescribe medication to help you maintain a normal heart rate and avoid blood clots.
If cardioversion is ineffective, your doctor may suggest a more advanced procedure such as catheter ablation or the MAZE procedure.
To find out which treatment is right for you, call one of the offices or book your appointment online today.