Expectations of Your Doctor or Specialist:
Be ready for your doctor to ask you certain questions:
- Do you remember when you first started having your heart symptoms?
- Do they occur continuously or only occasionally?
- Can you rate the severity of your symptoms?
- Does anything appear to make your symptoms better?
- Does anything appear to make your symptoms worse?
In order to properly diagnose atrial fibrillation, your doctor will likely go over your medical/family history, perform a physical exam and order several tests including the following:
- ECG (i.e. electrocardiogram) – records electrical signals as they move throughout your heart.
- Holter Monitor – portable ECG that records heart activity for at least 24 hours.
- Blood Tests – to rule out other medical conditions.
- X-rays – help to visualize the condition of the heart and lungs.
- Echocardiogram - utilizes sound waves in order to produce a video image of the heart.
Generally speaking, the goals of atrial fibrillation treatment(s) are twofold:
- To control the heart rate and/or reset the heart’s irregular rhythm.
- To prevent the formation of blood clots.
It is absolutely essential to follow all treatments exactly as ordered, in order to optimize your long term outcomes.