Atrial Fibrillation Specialist

Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists

Cardiovascular Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in Downriver Area, Southgate, MI

Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia that causes an irregular heartbeat. When left untreated, atrial fibrillation can be fatal. The team at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists uses advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to diagnose and treat atrial fibrillation. To schedule an appointment with the cardiovascular specialists, call the office in the Downriver area of Southgate, Michigan, or book an appointment online today.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

With atrial fibrillation, your heart beats a lot faster than normal. It’s one of the most common types of arrhythmias and may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke or developing other heart-related complications.

During atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of your heart — the atria — beat irregularly and out of sync with the two lower chambers — the ventricles. 

When the upper and lower chambers aren’t working together, the lower chambers of your heart don’t fill up with enough blood to push to your lungs and the rest of your body.  Blood may also pool in the heart chambers and increase your risk of developing blood clots. 

In some people, atrial fibrillation goes away on its own. However, in others, it’s a chronic condition that, if left untreated, can be life-threatening. 

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

The symptoms of atrial fibrillation vary. Some people don’t have any symptoms at all. 

Common symptoms of atrial fibrillation include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Weakness
  • Low energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Chest pain

If you’re having these symptoms, the team at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists can help you get the answers you need.

For people that don’t have symptoms, their doctor may find atrial fibrillation during a routine physical exam. In this case, you may need additional testing from a cardiovascular specialist to assess heart health and the severity of your arrhythmia. 

What happens during an atrial fibrillation evaluation?

When you come in to see the experts at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists with concerns about atrial fibrillation, the team conducts a comprehensive evaluation so you get an accurate diagnosis.

During your exam, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and family history and performs a physical exam. 

To diagnose your atrial fibrillation, they may recommend cardiovascular testing such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), encephalogram (EEG), holter monitor, stress testing, or echocardiogram. 

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

The team at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists takes a patient-centered approach to care. Treatment for your atrial fibrillation depends on the severity of your arrhythmia and symptoms, your overall health, and your personal preferences.

Treatment may include cardioversion to reset your heart rhythm. The team may perform electrical cardioversion or prescribe antiarrhythmic medications to reset your heartbeat. 

The team may also prescribe non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOAC) to reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke. 

For comprehensive cardiovascular care, call Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists, or book an appointment online today.