When any form of abnormality affects our heart, we become panic-struck. One very common condition that affects our heart to cause an irregular heartbeat is atrial fibrillation. Due to this condition, the normal blood flow can get affected, increasing the chance of developing blood clots, which can also cause stroke, heart-disorders and heart failure in some patients.
In this condition, the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly and chaotically. They are out of sync with the lower chambers. Many people don’t experience any symptoms of this condition. However, they may experience shortness of breath, pounding and fast heartbeat. The specialists suggest that this is not a life-threatening condition but can cause stroke. That’s why it is important to get it treated well on time.
At the Upper Side East Cardiology center, Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a specialist in treating cardiovascular disease, provides symptoms-based Upper East Side atrial fibrillation treatment. The use of medications combined with some minimally invasive interventions such as cardioversion or pacemaker implantation is one of the ways that they are used to treat this condition.
Types of AF and their causes
- Atrial fibrillation can be paroxysmal, meaning a sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms, lasting only 24 hours or less.
- It can be persistent if it has lasted for seven days or more. This form of atrial fibrillation needs evaluation and treatment.
- It can also be long-standing for a year or more.
Fault in the heart’s electrical signaling, which prevents the heart chambers from contracting and relaxing in sync, is the major cause of atrial fibrillation. As a result, the atria contracts irregularly and quickly compared to the ventricles.
This fault in the electrical system of the heart can be caused by:
- Heart disease secondary to HTN.
- A disease of the valves of the heart.
- Congestive heart failure.
- Congenital disabilities in the valves of the heart.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- CAD or coronary artery disease.
- Thyroid disorders
Certain medications like decongestants can also affect the functioning of the heart valves. Overconsumption of caffeine, smoking, and alcohol consumption can cause damage.
Some of the symptoms of atrial fibrillation that needs an evaluation from a specialist in New York are:
- Fluttering sensation and a faster heartbeat
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Dizziness and fatigue
- Cold feet
- Heart palpitations
Atrial fibrillation is commonly diagnosed using EKG and echocardiogram in all major hospitals in New York. Other tests are used to monitor your heart health like a stress test, Holter monitoring, and blood chemistry to check for underlying conditions like thyroid disorders can also be done.
The medications given to prevent episodes of atrial fibrillation and reduce the risk of complications include:
- Anticoagulants like warfarin.
- Antiarrhythmic drugs like amiodarone.
- Medicines to control the heart rate like digoxin
Even after taking these medicines, if you get another episode of atrial fibrillation, the doctors perform procedures like cardioversion, ablation of pulmonary vein or AV node, or pacemaker installation to restore heart health.