Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona
General Cardiology & Vascular Medicine located in Phoenix, Goodyear, Chandler, & Maricopa, AZ
Atrial fibrillation is a type of heart arrhythmia that increases your risk of having a stroke or developing congestive heart failure. An early diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation improves heart health and may lower your risk of more serious health complications. The team at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona specializes in diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation and heart arrhythmias. For expert cardiac care, call one of the offices in Phoenix, Maricopa, Goodyear, or Chandler, Arizona, or book an appointment online today.
What is an arrhythmia?
An arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. Electrical impulses control the rhythm of your heartbeat; when these impulses are out of sync, your heart may beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly.
There are many types of arrhythmias, including tachycardia, bradycardia, and atrial fibrillation.
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation causes your heart to beat quickly and irregularly. It occurs because of abnormalities that affect the electrical activity in the upper chambers of your heart.
People with atrial fibrillation have a heart that beats 100-175 times per minute. Typically, the heart beats 60-100 times per minute.
The chaotic heartbeat that comes with atrial fibrillation may come and go. However, the irregular heartbeat affects blood circulation through your heart’s chambers and increases your risk of developing a blood clot in the upper chamber.
These blood clots may travel through your blood vessels, causing a blockage and increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
Symptoms of atrial fibrillation vary, and not everyone with heart arrhythmia has symptoms. With atrial fibrillation, you may experience:
- Heart palpitations
- Fluttering sensation
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Poor exercise tolerance
Your atrial fibrillation symptoms may come and go. However, if you experience any of these symptoms, contact Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona to schedule an evaluation.
How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?
Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona is a full-service cardiology practice, and the team performs many tests to diagnose atrial fibrillation, including:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Holter monitoring
- Stress test
- Nuclear stress test
- Blood test
- Chest X-ray
Your cardiologist also reviews your medical and family history and performs a physical.
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
Treatment for your atrial fibrillation depends on many factors, including how long you’ve had the irregular heartbeat, the severity of your symptoms, and the underlying cause.
When treating your atrial fibrillation, the team focuses on therapies that reset your heart rhythm and reduce your risk of developing a blood clot. Treatment options include:
- Electrical cardioversion
- Medication cardioversion
- Medication to maintain heart rhythm
- Medication to control heart rate
- Medication to prevent the formation of blood clots
Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona also offers the Watchman® Implant device for non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
Call Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona or book a cardiac consultation online today.