Atrial Fibrillation Specialist

Bhaktavatsala R Apuri, MD -  - Cardiology

Summit Medical Associates LLC

Bhaktavatsala R Apuri, MD

Cardiology located in Fort Wayne, IN & Topeka, IN

As the most common type of heart arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation is a likely cause of heart palpitations. To reduce your risk of complications like stroke or heart failure because of atrial fibrillation, visit Summit Medical Associates LLC in Fort Wayne or Topeka, Indiana, for an evaluation and to receive care from Bhaktavatsala Apuri, MD. You may or may not need treatment for atrial fibrillation, but it’s best to be cautious about any concerns regarding your heart function. For exceptional cardiac care, call Summit Medical Associates LLC, or request an appointment online today.

Atrial Fibrillation Q & A

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that can lead to a series of even more severe complications. Specifically, it’s the most common form of heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. 

A normal heartbeat is even and consistent as your heart muscles contract and relax. If you have atrial fibrillation, the heart muscles of the upper chambers of your heart, called the atria, do not contract at a regular pace. That can reduce blood flow in the heart’s lower chambers, called the ventricles, as well as other areas of your body. 

Your atrial fibrillation might be permanent or short-lived. Either way, you can live a normal, satisfying life with the condition as long as you work with your physician to manage it effectively. 

What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation causes symptoms in some people who have it, but not all. If you do experience symptoms from atrial fibrillation, they might include:

  • Heart flutters or palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness 
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

If you don’t have any symptoms from atrial fibrillation but still have it, Dr. Apuri can detect it during a physical examination by listening to your heart with a stethoscope or evaluating your heart rate with an electrocardiogram (EKG), stress test, or echocardiogram.

What causes atrial fibrillation?

If you have atrial fibrillation, it might stem from another condition that has damaged the muscles in your heart. Sometimes, the cause is not known, but in other cases, it comes from:

  • Binge drinking
  • Congestive heart failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart surgery
  • Thyroid disease
  • Certain medications
  • Pericarditis
  • Coronary artery disease
  • A congenital heart issue

Dr. Apuri explores the possible causes behind atrial fibrillation while planning your treatment, as treating the cause is often the best management method. 

How is atrial fibrillation treated?

Without symptoms or other associated heart issues, atrial fibrillation might not require treatment at all. Often, it goes away without intervention. 

After discovering the causes and contributing factors of your condition, Dr. Apuri recommends prescription medication or lifestyle changes if he determines that you benefit from treatment. He might treat the underlying disease or recommend making changes to your routine like avoiding alcohol or caffeine to reduce your risk of complications from atrial fibrillation. 

Medications like beta-blockers and calcium, sodium, or potassium channel blockers can effectively alter your heart rate or rhythm to promote healthier heart functioning. 

If you have concerns about atrial fibrillation, don’t hesitate to contact Summit Medical Associates LLC. Call the office or book an appointment online today.