Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment in NYC
What is atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
A normal heart beats at about 60 to 100 beats per minute. AFib, also known as atrial fibrillation, is when your heart beats irregularly and unusually quickly – ranging anywhere from 100 to 175 beats per minute. There are five types of atrial fibrillation, which include:
- Paroxysmal AFib
- Persistent AFib
- Long-standing AFib
- Permanent AFib
- Nonvalvular AFib
What causes atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
Atrial fibrillation occurs when signals in your heart are abnormal. Damage or defects of the heart may be contributing causes of atrial fibrillation. Causes of AFib may include:
- High blood pressure
- History of heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Abnormal heart valves
- Heart defects
- Overactive thyroid gland
- Certain stimulants, such as medications, caffeine, etc.
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Lung diseases
- Previous heart surgery
- Viral infections
- Sleep apnea
In some cases of atrial fibrillation, there are no signs of heart defects of damage and the cause of atrial fibrillation is unknown.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (AFib)?
For some people, atrial fibrillation may be asymptomatic and not display any symptoms. Those who do have symptoms may experience:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Decreased energy
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Atrial fibrillation may be confused with atrial flutter, which displays similar symptoms. Your doctor will run various tests to determine the cause of your symptoms.
How is atrial fibrillation (AFib) diagnosed?
To determine if you have atrial fibrillation your doctor may want to know about your signs and symptoms as well as your medical history. Your doctor may also perform a physical and various tests. Tests that your doctor may perform include:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Holter monitor
- Event monitor
- Blood tests
- Stress test
- Chest X-ray
Can atrial fibrillation (AFib) lead to complications if left untreated?
Left untreated, AFib may lead to a stroke or heart attack.
How is atrial fibrillation (AFib) treated?
Treatment of AFib will be determined based on various factors, including the duration of time that you have had atrial fibrillation, whether your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, and the causes of your atrial fibrillation.
One way to treat atrial fibrillation is to reset your heartbeat through a procedure called cardioversion. Cardioversion can be done via an electrical procedure or with medications. Your doctor may prescribe anti-arrhythmic medications after electrical cardioversion.
If medications or cardioversion are unsuccessful in the management of atrial fibrillation, your doctor may recommend certain procedures that may help reset your heartbeat. Procedure options may include:
- Catheter ablation
- Surgical maze procedure
- Atrioventricular node ablation
Certain treatments may make you susceptible to blood clots. Along with your treatment, blood-thinning medications may be prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clotting.
Our heart and vein doctors at Heart Vein NYC have over 20 years of experience providing the New York City area with comprehensive,