Spontaneously going into sinus rhythm - AF Association

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Spontaneously going into sinus rhythm


I have been diagnosed with AF for about 2 1/2 years. Initially I was given cardioversion and I was in sinus rhythm for just over a year when I went back into AF. I am currently on sotolol 240 mg in a divided dose.

On a few occasions now, and one was a few hours ago, I will go from an arrhythmia to sinus rhythm as recorded on my BP machine. The particular machine I bought was for picking up an arrhythmia's.

The change goes without warning. I was sitting at the computer and everything went blurred and distorted and vision almost lost, at the same time I had this terrible rushing in the head. I estimate that it must have lasted for about 2 to 3 seconds but it is hard to judge. Afterwords my pulse had dropped from over 90 down to a regular steady 58. The best way I can describe the rushing in the head is that if anybody has had an IVP where they inject contrast media there is for a second also a hot rushing through the body. This was just the same in my head.

I don't think it was a TIA or stroke but it was definitely something to do with the heart because it's now back into a sinus rhythm.

I've reported this to my doctors and they seem to be puzzled and have no idea what's going on.

Does any member of this forum have any idea or have experienced similar such things.


19 Replies

Hello Rober42.I asked the similar question on here a couple of months ago. I had blurred vision and flashing lights on peripheral sight...I was referred to the eye specialist who loosely put it down to my medication. The blurred vision has seemingly settled down now. It was very scary as I thought I was loosing my sight.

I was and also still do experience a 'crawling 'sensation across my scalp and it is as if I can hear the blood rushing through my body which then exacerbates the tinnitus my head feeling as if its going to explode.My GP and cardiologist just stare at me open mouthed when I try to explain this to them.The cardiologist has not known me for probably a total of 1hr in 12 months my GP for over 20yrs and knows I have better things to do with my time than complain to him about imaginary symptoms...

The eye specialist did however perceive that it may have something to do with the medication and circulation...however the cardiologist again dismissed this idea!

It is not a pleasant feeling and mine is accompanied by tingling sensations in my tongue nose and cheeks not all the time just some of the time..

Only yesterday I was looking in Boots for a Blood Pressure machine...then decided i may take a look at a medical company before making a decision...

I did not have many responses when I posted my question just two people I seem to remember had similar sensations..


BobDVolunteer in reply to Hidden

For what it is worth, I have a regular shush shush in my ears in time with my heart beat. I only notice it when it is quiet so try to make a lot of noise most of the time LOL. I got similar odd looks when I mentioned it. The other symptoms could be migraine related and one might wonder if a return to NSR provides an increase in blood flow to the brain which might trigger the event. We are all diferent and AF is so varied that it could be anything.


Hidden in reply to BobD

HI Bob...

Yes the blurred vision could be a sort of migraine but without the headache...I am fast becoming an expert at reading these 'odd looks' now.lol

AF is definitely not a 'one size fits all' syndrome that's for sure...C

Robert42 in reply to BobD

Hello BobD

the rushing in the ears is a very common symptom that often as no connection with any particular illness. It often causes anxiety and people which makes things worse because they can't get to sleep. I'm surprised that the GP look puzzled at you.

Thanks for the reply, Robert

Robert42 in reply to Hidden


Thank you so much for getting back to me. Some of what you have said does sound familiar. How long does your symptoms last, and if there are any changes in your heart rhythm? The other thing I would ask is what medication was the eye specialist concerned about, was it one of the statins?

Doing a lot of searching on the Internet I have only come to one other comment other than yours where simvastatin was involved and that is what I am on.

My GP referred me to a balance specialist, whilst it quickly ruled out balance he has taken quite a interest. It put me on another 24 hour monitor and has ordered copies of all the original notes from Glenfield. I'm due to see him in September but I'm going to ring up to date savouring get in before.

About the BP machine, I rang up Omron and told them what I wanted to achieve, that is something that could handle arrhythmia's. She recommended a particular model and she also told me who to buy from. They were of course more expensive but knowing the model I was able to shop around. The model was M3 single memory and has served me very well.


Hidden in reply to Robert42

Hi Robert...As I am not taking the same medication as yourself (Bisoprlol Flacainide and Aspirin) it would indicate this is a symptom of the PAF and not medication...

In my case the sensations can last for hours, the sounds in the head are always present quite different from Tinnitus rather like the sound of the ocean during a storm.My hearing has deteriorated and now need an aid.

I have just been for a swim and the acoustics of the pool don't mask the sounds.

Like Bob I keep myself busy and try to have other distractions around me so as not be in silence but it is so difficult and still aware of the sensation and sounds. I also notice my pulse rate is really slow when this is happening ...

Thank you also for the information regarding the BP machine I shall certainly look into that..


Hi Robert - In the past I believe, several times, I've had the rushing feeling you describe. It's a weird sensation which I feel is a bit like a darkness that sweeps the body, a bit like if you're going to pass out - but just as you think you will it subsides. Does that sound like what you had? I also used to wonder if it was a TIA. Because it so rarely happened I can't remember telling my cardiologist about it, but did mention it to my GP who didn't comment. Mine always happened when I was at work so I was unable to check my BP.

I've had AF for about 6-7 years and have just had my second ablation (5 weeks ago), which I hope has now stopped the problem.


Hi Jean

What you have described does fit what I experience. As far as I'm aware I don't lose consciousness. Most times it has happened I had been sitting down but on one occasion I was getting into the bath and ended up going down with the big splash and then another occasion I was walking down the street and is as if my legs just gave way from under me. On other occasions when I've been out there is used to be something that I can grab onto. But after this occurs I am into sinus rhythm.

I have got over last night's episode and I'm feeling quite well within myself. I also feel more confident about getting out and doing some shopping.

I asked my GP what was the mechanism whereby the heart will go back from AF to sinus rhythm. I did not get an answer just one of those strange GP looks. My own reasoning is that the had must have to go into some rest so that the whole of the heart is in its normal rhythm much like what happens when they give you cardioversion. If this is the case it would cause an interruption to blood flow to the brain. Well that's my reasoning.


Hi Robert

Yes, I'm always in sinus rhythm afterwards too and my episodes can be either when I'm sitting or standing. It's pretty scary when it happens though and very difficult to explain to people who haven't experienced it. It's like a darkness rushing through your body and as you say lasts just seconds. I think its a bit like passing out in slow motion, but stops just before you do. Yes, an interruption to the blood flow in the brain sounds likely.

As your first cardioversion lasted for such a long period, haven't you been offered another? I used to take Sotolol as a pill in the pocket when I had a bout of AF. I've always refused to take permanent AF medication - always think I know better!!!


I have experienced this many times. However, yesterday I was in A fib

I took my meds and within secon, I fell forward as of fainting. I bruised one half of my face, my nose bled and I was a mess. It was not a TIA. My heart rate immediately went back into sinus rhythm. This was so scary.

This is exactly what happens to me when I go from AF back into normal rhythm. Searching the internet I discovered that this is presyncope (near faint) and caused by a slight pause between AF stopping and normal rhythm resuming - shortage of blood to the brain during the few seconds pause. If you are sitting when it occurs it will most likely be presyncope and if you are standing it will most likely be syncope (faint)

Terjo in reply to Patricia1

Thank you for solving the problem of the snake like rushing as my heart goes back to snr . I've had AF all last night and went back to snr around three pm. I have to lie down as I can't cope with a heart rate of 150.

I feel really weak and shaky. Do you feel hot headed? I do !


My goodness, I experienced those brief feelings of fainting many times over a period of about 3 years prior to being diagnosed with AF. At the time I had no idea what the cause was, and the moments, probably because they were so short, were not considered to be anything to worry about by my G.P. - my age being given as the reason!! I had no other apparent AF symptoms so I was not even offered an ECG.

Hello everyone, thank you so much indeed for your responses. What has made this clear is I am not alone and despite what the GPs say many people must suffer from the same symptoms.

Jean you mentioned taking sotolol on an as needs basis. I'm sure that would not have been approved by the GP, but the thing I would like to know is does it help you? All so before I digress a little, as any medical person, GP or cardiologist given any opinion on the condition apart from something that is related to age?

The next problem I've got which I thought was tied up with the same issue but may not be and is very evident today. When I am out I get quite dizzy and short of breath on exertion and this was very evident a short time ago as I was climbing up two flights of stairs.

The balance specialist I saw when he looked at the BP and pulse chart that I gave him an seems to indicate that the heart is not increasing as I perform some exercise. When I am in sinus rhythm it sits constantly at about 60 bpm it really should go up to between 80 and 90 bpm at least. His thoughts on this was the sotolol is holding the heart down too well. The other possibility is a conduction problem that a pacemaker would be indicated. I did try to bring my appointment forward but apparently is on holiday till the end of the month. Does any of this sound familiar.

Thanks everyone you all very great and your answers are appreciated.


GP and cardiologist were both aware I was taking Sotalol as 'pill in the pocket'. It used to help, but then suddenly it didn't. Since my ablation 5 weeks ago I am only on warfarin. Before that for 6 months I was on Amiodarone which made me feel really well, but it was damaging my thyroid.


Thanks Jean, Amiodarone was suggested to my GP but both she and the other specialist are not too keen on it. Hope your current treatment works for you.


kootenaykid in reply to Robert42

Robert...from my own experience and careful observations and notes...I am pretty sure that the Sotilol is suppressing the hearts response mechanism to the added demand for blood/oxygen supply to the large muscles in your legs. The drug does its job well...and that is to keep the heart rate suppressed. So, be careful you don't overdo it but at the same time you do need to get some exercise. I believe the heart takes a long pause when it is converting back from afib to NSR. This causes a sudden precipitous drop in BP which lasts 2-3 seconds, before the heart resumes beating in NSR. the last time this happened to me it was a bit disconcerting because I was driving on the highway at the time but fortunately had slowed down and had just pulled off onto a side road when my head and eyes went all a-wobble with momentary tunnel vision and feeling of impending fainting. Slammed the brakes on and pulled off to the side as I was about to lay my head down on the seat beside me. Suddenly things came back to normal and sure enough, checked my pulse, and back in normal rhythm.

Just saw your post. Diagnosed w Afib years ago. Have had 2 ablations which helped a lot. Still go out of rhythm once in a while. Anyway, I always experience EXACTLY what you describe right before I convert back to normal rhythm. I think it's just the body doing its thing to get back in rhythm. I've learned to not fight it, just go with it, because it's a good thing- you're back in normal rhythm!

This sounds very like what I experienced but often I would collapse, it happened once in hospital in front of my consultant at the time, I was told it was a sudden drop in BP after 3 very bad episodes when I honestly thought I was dying, And losing confidence, I now have a 3 lead Pacemaker.

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