Atrial Fibrillation Specialist

Heart and Vascular of Central Texas

Henry Lucid, MD

Cardiologist located in Cedar Park, TX & Round Rock, TX

Atrial fibrillation — a type of arrhythmia — is a condition where your heartbeat becomes irregular. If you're experiencing symptoms of atrial fibrillation, fellowship-trained cardiologist Henry Lucid, MD, at Heart and Vascular of Central Texas can help. At locations in Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Georgetown, Texas, Dr. Lucid and his team provide exceptional diagnostic facilities where they can isolate the cause of your atrial fibrillation. Call the office nearest you to find out more or schedule a consultation using the online booking tool today.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an arrhythmia that causes your heart to beat irregularly. A healthy heart has a constant, even rhythm, but when you have atrial fibrillation, an electrical problem in the atria (upper chambers) of your heart disrupts this rhythm.

This malfunction makes your heart quiver instead of beating properly, so your blood doesn't move through the ventricles in your heart as it should. The result is a beat that’s too fast in the atria and too slow in your lower ventricles.

Does atrial fibrillation cause any other symptoms?

For some patients who have AFib, the only symptom is the irregularity in their heartbeat. However, you might experience additional symptoms, such as:

  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Episodes of fainting (syncope)
  • Palpitations

Whatever your symptoms are, Heart and Vascular of Central Texas has state-of-the-art diagnostic testing facilities to determine the cause of your atrial fibrillation.

What causes atrial fibrillation?

The electrical abnormality that leads to atrial fibrillation is often a complication of conditions such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Thyroid disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Sleep apnea

Some medications can cause atrial fibrillation as a side effect, and stimulants, including caffeine and nicotine, may trigger the condition. Some cases of AFib have no definable cause.

How is atrial fibrillation diagnosed?

Following a comprehensive consultation and physical examination at Heart and Vascular of Central Texas, you might need to undergo tests to find out why you have atrial fibrillation.

Some of the cutting-edge tests your provider can arrange include an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, Holter monitoring, or event monitoring.

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

Treatment options for atrial fibrillation vary according to the cause of your condition. Lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine and other stimulants can help, but you may need to take medication as well.

Drugs like beta blockers or calcium channel blockers slow your heart rate, and anticoagulants (blood-thinning medicines) help reduce your risk of stroke by preventing the formation of blood clots. Addressing underlying diseases like hyperthyroidism is also critical.

If your atrial fibrillation stems from extra electrical currents in the veins in your lungs, pulmonary vein isolation ablation (PVI ablation or PVA) can re-establish a normal heart rhythm. Atrioventricular (AV) node ablation targets faulty cells in the sinus node.

Some patients can benefit from a pacemaker to regulate the electrical signals in their heart.

If you have symptoms of atrial fibrillation or another form of arrhythmia, call Heart and Vascular of Central Texas for advice or book an appointment online today.