Myths and Facts About Atrial Fibrillation

There are lots of myths about atrial fibrillation (AFib). Even their names may confuse you. But you can treat and manage AFib and still enjoy a full life. Here are some myths and facts from WebMD:

Myth: You can easily feel the irregular heartbeat caused by atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Fact: Some people with AFib — a quivering or uneven heartbeat —┬áhave no symptoms or they’re not very noticeable. You may feel your heart race or flutter, or you might feel dizzy or lightheaded. Some people also feel short of breath, anxious, or more tired than usual. A heart test called an electrocardiogram (EKG) can help your doctor know if you have it.

Myth: If you have AFib, you’ll have to give up that morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Fact: One to three cups of coffee or tea a day should be fine. Don’t load your coffee with sugar or creamy toppings, though. Those make it harder to control your weight, and obesity can make AFib worse.

Myth: If you have AFib, you shouldn’t have sex or drive a car.

Fact: Sex is actually healthy for both men and women with AFib. It can ease stress. It’s also a heart-healthy form of exercise, which is good for people who have AFib.

You also can drive a car if you don’t get faint or have dizzy spells. Keep track of how you feel so you can talk to your doctor about driving. If you plan to take a trip by car, make sure your AFib is under control. And take your meds with you. But talk to your doctor before making a long drive in extreme temperatures or at high altitudes like in the mountains.