Monitoring heart rate and recognizing atrial fibrillation

Hi, I have a SSS and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Have had pm since 2008. Everything goes quite well so far. Except every now and then have  atrial fibrillations during nights. That makes me very tired in mornings. AF feelings dissapear during daytimes.

Wonder if it would be usefull to have a monitor which constantly monitors AF and alarms if any. So have any of members experiences of those home monitors.


AF monitor

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-09 14:38:03

What would do if the monitor does detect AF? Since it happens mostly at night, I'd think about monitoring for apnoea. You can buy recording pulse-ox meters fairly cheaply on Amazon. There may not be a link but it sounds suspicious to me and worth investigating, for cheap.

Monitoring heart rate and recognizing atrial fibrillation

by sunhill - 2020-01-09 14:43:46

I thought that when waking up the AF would dissapear and that way I could avoid having it all night long.

Your succestion is worth considering too.

I would ask for hospital monitoring

by Gemita - 2020-01-09 15:46:42

Hello Sunhill,

Firstly I would speak to your doctors about your concerns rather than self monitor a condition like AF.  It is a beast and needs proper evaluation and control.

I would ask your doctors for a 7 day or longer monitor to detect periods of AF and to try to see whether AF is only happening at night.  Alternatively keep a diary note of when you feel you are in AF (or wake up in AF) and get your pacemaker interrogated if that is possible ?ask your clinic. There should be a record of AF events recorded, especially if at high heart rates.  I wouldn't depend on Kardia Mobile or the like because you cannot record an event when asleep.

Agent X86 makes a very good point about sleep apnea - a strong cause of nocturnal AF - but here again you should be tested for this condition with a proper in hospital sleep study if your health insurance will cover.  In the U.K. this is covered by our NHS.  I wish you a peaceful night's sleep

1 day Holter does not track the problem

by sunhill - 2020-01-09 16:57:57

I have had several 1 day monitoring tests with a Holter device and of course those AF's never occure during those tested days. Then doctors think that no AF's exists at all and that's it. I also have had a test for sleep apnea. I suffer a mediocre sleep apnea and have tested couple of CPAPs but can not get used to them.

A 7 day test would help but I doubt doctors in general medical agency allow that. If the doctor thinks a test or other treatments are nessessary then they will be done without any cost for me. But the problem is that my symptoms do not look that severe. They occure so seldom.

Then there is other possibility to go to private owned medical companies and try to get tests, diagnosis and treatments through it. But that is with my own cost of course. And who guarrantees that a AF occures during one week. And if it occures then what?

Those difficult nights occure randomly,  abount monthly or so. The day after bad night I take leave of work and stay home. To somehow avoid those days it would have been nice to figure out an own solution.

Thanks for comments. I will consider them.

Monitoring of AF

by Gemita - 2020-01-09 18:12:31

Hello Sunhill,

I can see you have tried so hard already to find a solution to ward off AF at night.  Paroxysmal AF is a devil to capture and even more difficult to treat.  It has a mind and a will of its own, but it is important to try to control it because it will progress if we don't.  

I had the same problem with 1 day monitoring which was a complete waste of time.  Intermittent AF needs long term monitoring and I can understand your wanting to take matters into your own hands !!

All I can suggest is the Kardia mobile, 6 lead heart monitor, because I believe it is used by many AF patients worldwide and also approved by many doctors as a good home monitoring system.  So when you wake at night in what you believe to be AF, you can record what your heart is doing at the time and produce an ECG to send to your cardiologist for analysis.  However AF may occur without waking you, so Kardia Mobile would not be helpful in this instance and some episodes of AF will go undetected - hence long term hospital monitoring is the best option.

Have you actually been diagnosed with paroxysmal AF and are you taking any medication for it, if needed (like an anticoagulant or beta blocker)?  AF as you probably know can be dangerous and cause strokes, especially in those patients with a high stroke risk (which is why I thought it best for you to be monitored by your doctors rather than self monitored).  Even infrequent AF (even short runs) can put us at considerable risk, so it is not something to mess with.

I used to wake up in AF almost every night and take my blood pressure and heart rate.  They were always abnormally high or low (and very very unstable) and this was for me a complete confirmation of my AF.  My quivering heart, chest pain and breathlessness also confirmed the arrhythmia. I also confirmed it by feeling the speed of my pulse and its irregularity of rhythm. Frequent urination was also another clear sign of AF/tachycardia which occurs because of the release (automatically) of a hormone (atrial natriuretic peptide hormone) which acts as a diuretic to help lower blood pressure and regulate calcium and salt in body.  It took me a long time to find this out.  AF is a truly debilitating condition.

I agree about CPAP. I couldnt tolerate it either and the nasal pillows caused severe nosebleeds.  My pacemaker seems to be keeping my arrhythmias under control. A setting (minimum) of 70 bpm night and day is proving very helpful.  Whenever my heart rate was low I was more prone to both sleep problems and arrhythmias.  Hope you manage to find a way forward

voice actavited tape recorder

by marylandpm - 2020-01-10 07:35:39

 When I suspected I had sleep apnea I put a voice activated tape recorder next to my bed. When I played the recoreder the next morning I was shocked at my crasping for air. I now have a CPAC machine.  

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