No need to feel anxious about hitting the road when you have atrial fibrillation (AFib). "As long as you're getting good medical care, traveling with AFib shouldn't be a problem," says N. A. Mark Estes, MD, director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Exercise is good for your heart, right? But if you rev up your heart rate, will that trigger the irregular pattern of atrial fibrillation (AFib)? Don't worry too much. Experts say physical activity is usually good for people with AFib.
Doctors clear many people with this heart condition to start exercising right away. But before you start ramping up your workouts, ask your cardiologist (your heart doctor) if you need any tests.
It's possible that you have problems that need treatment first...
Talk to your cardiologist. Tell your heart doctor where you're planning to go and for how long. Find out if there are any reasons you shouldn't make the trip or what concerns he may have about it.
Do you have a pacemaker or ICD? Gordon Tomaselli, MD, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says to ask your cardiologist for the name of a doctor or hospital in the area that will know your device and be able to help in an emergency. That's especially important if you're headed to an exotic location.
Wear your medical ID bracelet or necklace, or carry your card. If you don't already have a medical ID, get one before you travel, Tomaselli says. You can buy one at most drugstores and superstores. It should have:
One benefit of a digital ID is how much information it can store.
Pack extra medication. "Forgetting medications is one of the most common mistakes people make when traveling," Tomaselli says. First, remember to put meds on your packing list. Then bring double the amount you need.
Put some in your checked luggage and some in your carry-on. That way you're sure to have enough, even if a bag goes missing.