Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia) that disrupts your blood circulation. It can make you feel faint or dizzy, and cause blood clots to form in the upper chambers of your heart. Blood clots can lead to dangerous complications, such as stroke or pulmonary embolism.
There are many causes of AFib, including birth defects, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), and a previous heart attack or heart surgery. In some cases, the cause is unknown.
Experts at Dignity Health Central California provide cardiac care with humankindness to keep your heart strong and healthy. To discuss your options for effective atrial fibrillation treatment in Central California, use our online tool to Find a Doctor today.
Treating AFib at Dignity Health Central California
The goals of AFib treatment are to restore your heart’s regular rhythm, prevent the formation of blood clots, and address the underlying cause. Treatment can take the form of medication, lifestyle changes, and surgical intervention.
Common treatment options include:
- Heart medications — to slow the heart’s contractions and correct arrhythmias
- Blood-thinning medications — for blood clot prevention
- Cardioversion (chemical or electrical) — to reset your heart rhythm
- Catheter ablation — to destroy the cells in your heart that cause arrhythmias
- Maze surgery — to disrupt your heart’s electrical signals
Your Dignity Health Central California doctor may create a treatment plan that includes several therapy options. For example, AFib caused by heart disease (coronary artery disease or hypertension), may be treated with lifestyle changes and medication to control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
In other cases, such as AFib due to a structural heart defect or valve disease, surgery may be the best option.
Understanding Your Treatment Options
Your best course of treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms, your overall health, and how effective a recommended treatment is likely to be in your specific case. Be sure to discuss with your doctor the risks, benefits, and likely outcomes of your recommended treatments. Ask about ways to minimize surgical risks, if surgery is part of your treatment plan.
Can You Prevent Atrial Fibrillation?
Most cases of AFib are caused by underlying heart disease or heart-related conditions. Depending on the cause, prevention is not always possible. The risk of AFib also increases with age.
That said, you can take action to reduce your risk of heart-related causes of Afib. Follow these recommendations:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Manage your known risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Limit salt in your food, especially if you have high blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
Our heart care experts provide advanced diagnostic and treatment options for many cardiovascular problems. Learn more about cardiology services at our Central California hospitals:
Dignity Health Central California provides exceptional cardiac care, including atrial fibrillation treatment, in Bakersfield, Merced and Stockton, CA.