Heart Rhythm Problems: How to Travel Safely - Topic Overview
It is safe for most people with arrhythmias, pacemakers, and ICDs to travel. Riding in a car, bus, train, boat, or plane is very unlikely to aggravate the arrhythmia. But there are easy things you can do to travel safely and prepare for potential problems.General travel tips Always bring a supply of medicine that will last longer than the expected length of the trip. That way, if the trip is extended, you won't run out of medicine. Bring a list of your medical conditions and an up-to-date list of your medicines (including dosages). Wear a medical alert bracelet that identifies your condition.Bring a list of the names and phone numbers of your doctors.If you are traveling out of the country, take along the phone numbers and addresses of embassies in the areas you will visit. They can help you find a doctor or hospital.Call in the event of an emergency. If you are in a foreign country, learn the emergency number for that country.For more tips, see the topic Travel Health.If you have a
Heart Problems: Living With an ICD
An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) helps protect you against dangerous heart rhythms. It's important to know how this device works and how to keep it working right. Learning a few important facts about ICDs can help you get the best results from your device.You may have a device that combines an ICD with a pacemaker, which keeps your heart from beating too slowly. For more information on pacemakers, see Heart Problems: Living With a Pacemaker.Key pointsAvoid strong magnetic and electrical fields. These can keep your device from working right. Most office equipment and home appliances are safe to use. Learn which things you should use with caution and which you should stay away from.Know what to do when you get a shock from your ICD. Be sure that any doctor, dentist, or other health professional you see knows that you have an ICD. Always carry a card in your wallet that tells what kind of device you have. Wear medical alert jewelry that says you have an ICD. Have your
Heart Rhythm Problems and Driving - Health Tools
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Heart Problems: Living With a PacemakerHeart Problems: Living With an ICD
History and Physical Exam for Atrial Fibrillation
Asking questions about your medical history and doing a physical exam for atrial fibrillation can reveal important information about your health and will often direct more testing.Your doctor may ask the following questions:What symptoms, if any, have you experienced?Have you experienced a sensation of fluttering in your chest? Any lightheadedness? Any chest pain? Any shortness of breath?Have you
Turning Off Your ICD - Health Tools
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems. Advance Care Planning: Should I Stop Treatment That Prolongs My Life?
Heart Rhythm Problems and Driving - Topic Overview
Are there driving restrictions for people with heart rhythm problems?If you have an arrhythmia or an ICD that makes it dangerous for you to drive, your doctor might suggest that you stop driving, at least for a short time.If you have an arrhythmia that doesn't cause significant symptoms, you don't have to stop or limit driving.This topic is about driving private vehicles. For commercial driving, the government has specific regulations about driving when you have certain medical conditions.Restrictions on the right to drive depend on several factors. Your doctor makes a recommendation based on:1Any symptoms you may have had, like fainting. The cause of your arrhythmia. The likelihood that your arrhythmia will happen again.If your arrhythmia has been treated successfully.If your ICD has given you a shock for an arrhythmia.Is it okay to drive if you have an arrhythmia?You can drive with an arrhythmia as long as it doesn't cause symptoms that makes it dangerous for you to drive.Your
Vagal Maneuvers for a Fast Heart Rate - Topic Overview
Vagal maneuvers are used to try to slow an episode of fast heart rate. These simple maneuvers stimulate the vagus nerve,sometimes resulting in slowed conduction of electrical impulses through the atrioventricular (AV) node of the heart. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying these. Vagal maneuvers that you can try to slow your fast heart rate include: Gagging. Holding your breath and ...
Turning Off Your ICD - Topic Overview
How does your ICD help you?Your ICD can save your life.Your ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) is always checking your heart rate and rhythm. If the ICD detects a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, it tries to slow the rhythm to get it back to normal. If the dangerous rhythm doesn't stop, the ICD sends an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. Your ICD may also work as a pacemaker. It can fix a heart rate that is too fast or too slow. It may do so without using a shock.Should you consider turning off your ICD?Even though an ICD can help fix heart rate or rhythm problems, you may not want this at the end of life. Many people consider turning off their ICD when their health goal changes from living longer to getting the most comfort possible at the end of life. The shocks the ICD delivers are painful. Not being shocked will make you more comfortable at the end of life. As you plan for your future and your end of life, include plans for your ICD. The
Heart Arrhythmias and Exercise - Topic Overview
If you have an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), ask your doctor what type and level of exercise is safe for you. Regular activity can help keep your heart and body healthy.The type and amount of exercise that is allowable will vary depending on the cause of your abnormal heart rhythm and whether you have other forms of heart disease. If your irregular heartbeat is caused by another type of heart disease (such as cardiomyopathy or a valve problem), you may need to limit your activity because of the other heart disease.Before you start a new exercise program or change your current exercise program:Talk with your doctor. He or she may do a physical exam, an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), and possibly a stress ECG test to assess what level of activity your heart can handle. Make an exercise plan together with your doctor. An exercise program usually consists of stretching, activities that increase your heart rate (aerobic exercise), and strength training (lifting light weights). Make
Atrial flutter is an abnormality in the beating of the heart. Find out more.