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All About A-Fib: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation

All About A-Fib: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment Options for Atrial Fibrillation

Our team of board-certified cardiologists at Premier Cardiology Consultants is known for offering advanced cardiac diagnostic studies and top-level care to people throughout New York City. We’re happy to provide more information about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and the treatments available for this common arrhythmia.

Understanding atrial fibrillation

Your heart usually beats at a steady rate and rhythm that moves blood through the heart’s four chambers in a synchronized pattern.

A-fib is a type of arrhythmia that causes chaotic and irregular beats in the two upper heart chambers (atria), affecting blood flow throughout the heart. A-fib may come and go, lasting for a few minutes to several hours, or become continuous.

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

A-fib symptoms can vary and are sometimes subtle or easily missed and sometimes quite problematic.

For instance, you may notice frequent fluttering sensations (palpitations) in your chest that come and go quickly. Or you may experience a cluster of symptoms that may come on suddenly and are hard to ignore, including:

Left untreated, A-fib can eventually cause heart failure and persistent symptoms such as swelling in the abdomen or legs and feet, debilitating fatigue, and difficulty breathing when lying flat. Unfortunately, A-fib can also result in a blood clot and resulting heart attack or stroke.

What causes atrial fibrillation?

Common risk factors for A-fib include:

Sick sinus syndrome can also cause A-fib by affecting how the heart’s natural pacemaker (sinus node) controls your heartbeat. 

How do you treat atrial fibrillation?

At Premier Cardiology Consultants, treatment for A-fib starts with a thorough cardiac evaluation that includes onsite diagnostic testing to confirm the diagnosis. Our treatment goal for A-fib includes restoring a normal heartbeat and protecting your heart from long-term damage.

Your customized treatment strategy may include oral medications to restore a normal heart rate and blood thinners to reduce your risk of stroke. Your specialist may also recommend nonsurgical treatments such as electrical cardioversion to reset your heart’s rhythm.

You may also benefit from pacemaker placement to help control your heartbeat or a minimally invasive procedure such as A-fib ablation. Our Premier Cardiology Consultants team also offers an advanced procedure that includes a WATCHMAN® implant to reduce your risk of blood clots related to atrial fibrillation.

Schedule an evaluation at Premier Cardiology Consultants today to prevent long-term health complications related to atrial fibrillation. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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