Cardiology Associates of Frederick
Cardiologists located in Frederick, MD
Atrial fibrillation causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat that may make you feel short of breath or weak. Though not always a serious health issue, atrial fibrillation may place you at risk of having a stroke or developing heart failure. Focused on prevention, Cardiology Associates of Frederick in Frederick, Maryland, diagnoses, treats, and monitors patients with atrial fibrillation. To schedule a consultation today, call or use the website booking tool.
Atrial Fibrillation Q & A
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia that causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat. It occurs because of abnormalities in the electrical signaling between the two upper chambers of your heart, the right and left atria.
Your heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinus node, initiates the rhythm of your heartbeat, which travels through the upper chambers of your heart and then to the lower chambers. Your heartbeat causes your heart to squeeze, pumping blood throughout your body.
With atrial fibrillation, your upper chamber heartbeat is out of sync with the lower chamber, causing a rapid and irregular rhythm. Abnormalities or damage to the structure of your heart may cause atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation itself may not be life-threatening. However, it affects the flow of blood through your heart and may increase your risk of developing a blood clot within the chambers.
The blood clot may circulate and block blood flow to certain areas of your body, leading to tissue damage (ischemia) or a stroke.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
Not everyone with atrial fibrillation has symptoms, and people might not realize they have the arrhythmia until it’s incidentally found during a routine exam. However, people with atrial fibrillation may experience:
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Chest pain
Whether you have symptoms or not, your atrial fibrillation may come and go or be a chronic problem. No matter the severity of your arrhythmia, Cardiology Associates of Frederick can provide the care you need.
How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?
Cardiology Associates of Frederick performs various tests to diagnose atrial fibrillation. When you come in for a consultation, your cardiologist reviews your symptoms, medical history, family history, and then performs a physical.
To confirm or rule out atrial fibrillation, they may perform:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Stress test
- Holter monitoring
- Event monitoring
- Blood tests
- Chest X-ray
In addition to providing a diagnosis, the practice uses the information from the testing to monitor your atrial fibrillation over time.
How is atrial fibrillation treated?
Cardiology Associates of Frederick customizes treatment for atrial fibrillation based on how long you’ve had the arrhythmia, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health.
In general, treatment may include procedures or medication that resets the rhythm of your heart, as well as medication to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot.
You can expect routine follow-up care and testing to monitor your atrial fibrillation and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
For comprehensive cardiac care, call Cardiology Associates of Frederick or request a consultation online today.
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