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Most people with atrial fibrillation don't have to change their daily activities. You can live well and safely with atrial fibrillation.
There are some precautions you can take to prevent problems from atrial fibrillation. For example, tell your doctor about any activities that trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation. And talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program or change your workouts.
The table below describes some of the ways your life may be affected
by your arrhythmia. It also offers tips on preventing problems.
Aspect of life
Potential impact of atrial fibrillation
Tips for success
Stressful situations can trigger an episode of atrial
fibrillation or make your atrial fibrillation worse.
Try to lower the amount of stress at work or with
Try meditation and other relaxation techniques when stress is
Most people with atrial fibrillation can continue
Avoid strenuous activity and extremely stressful situations at
Most people with atrial fibrillation can lead normal sex lives as long as they can exercise and be active without having symptoms.
Let your doctor know if you experience symptoms of atrial
fibrillation during sex.
Intense exercise may trigger your arrhythmia or make your
Call your doctor to report any symptoms. And avoid strenuous
exercise if it causes symptoms.
You can drive unless your doctor advises against
Pull over and call your doctor if you start to feel symptoms or
become lightheaded while operating a motor vehicle or other
Before each trip, talk with your doctor about your travel plans. He or she may be able to refer you to a doctor in the area that you will
Bring the name and phone number of your doctor, in case your
arrhythmia comes back and you need medical attention. Also, make sure to bring
For more information, see the topic:
Other Works Consulted
Levine GN, et al. (2012). Sexual activity and cardiovascular disease: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 125(8): 1058–1072.
Shea JB, Sears SF (2008). A patient's guide to living
with atrial fibrillation. Circulation, 117(20):
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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