Atrial fibrillation (or AFib) is a type of heart arrhythmia, or abnormal or irregular heartbeat. Some people describe atrial fibrillation as a quivering heart because it feels like your heart is fluttering in your chest.
If you think you have signs of atrial fibrillation in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, Find a Doctor or call (702) 616-4900 to receive care at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation
Not everyone with AFib experiences symptoms. In fact, you may not even realize you have AFib until your doctor discovers it during a physical exam. The most common symptom is a fluttering in your chest, with other symptoms including chest pain, confusion, dizziness, or feeling tired or short of breath.
Symptoms of AFib may be:
- Occasional: The symptoms come and go, lasting minutes to hours.
- Persistent: AFib doesn’t go away on its own, but treatment can help regain a normal heart rhythm
- Permanent: Your heart rhythm cannot be restored to normal, but treatment can control your heart rate and decrease your risk of stroke.
Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention if you have chest pain or any other signs of a heart attack.
What Causes Atrial Fibrillation?
The cause of AFib is damage to the heart’s electrical system, which causes the irregular heartbeats. Conditions that can cause this damage include:
Other risk factors are alcohol abuse, a family history of AFib, obesity, advanced age, and certain medical conditions such as thyroid disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, and lung disease.
Diagnosing & Treating Atrial Fibrillation in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV
Your medical and health history, physical exam, and risk factors will help your doctor diagnose AFib, along with tests such as EKG, echocardiogram, Holter monitor, and stress testing.
With AFib treatment, doctors can help control your heart rate and prevent blood clots or stroke.
Your treatment for AFib may involve trying to reset your heart’s rhythm through:
- Electrical cardioversion, using electric shocks to restore normal rhythm
- Chemical or pharmacologic cardioversion, using drugs to restore normal rhythm
- Catheter ablation, destroying abnormal tissue that is causing the disorganized signals
- Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation, disrupting the path of the abnormal signals with an advanced procedure
- WATCHMAN procedure, an implant that helps reduce AFib stroke risk
If those treatments can’t restore your normal heart rhythm, there may be medicines to help manage your AFib. Consult with a cardiologist or surgeon to discover your ideal treatment option.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals provides treatment for atrial fibrillation in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.