Log in
AF Association
16,846 members19,962 posts

Managing Dizziness

I suffer a lot of dizziness. It will go from mild to quiet severe where I need to lie down until it passes by. My GP was puzzled by this and sent me to a balance specialist who in his favour I would say is taken a lot of interest in me. Currently I am managing my AF with sotolol 120 mg a day in divided dose. I also supper with diabetes and hypertension but both these conditions are well under control.

If I'm not mistaken dizziness is part of the symptoms of AF and I am wondering how other members of this forum managed this. I must say that the dizziness has got worse as time progresses.

Can someone give me some feedback?


21 Replies

Hi Robert

I'm on paroxysmal AF since few years and it is causing me dizziness from time to time and light head most of the time

My doctor doesn't link it with the AF but I feel it is related even to AF since by logic blood circulation is not stable or my migraine

I did all the required tests including my ears nothing shown wrong

Recently my doctor prescribed medication called betaserc (betahistine do hydrochloride) 3 tablets daily just started two days ago

I should also mention that dizziness is a symptom of anxiety and depression sometime, I had treatment also long time back for anxiety which helped me earlier

You may feel my advise strange try to drink a lot of water these days you may feel better



It is not always a symptom of anxiety and depression. I have been teaching yoga for 36-37 years, I became a Relaxation Therapist, I thought it would be useful, Many of the medications can cause dizziness. Check out the amount of water you should be drinking, too much is as damaging as too little. Many of the tablets cause a dry mouth. When that happens you may drink more than is safe, I drink water, but I keep within the limits that is right for me. There are many reasons why a person suffers from dizziness, I found that out myself and the info I was given by my GP was wrong. I did not have Labyrinthitis as he stated. No offence meant.


Hi - I have suffered with Labrynthitis for many years, and feeling light head and dizzy are symptoms. My attacks last from a few days to a couple of weeks, but for some people their bouts can last for many weeks. I was prescribed 16 mg. Betahistine 3 times a day, and this has helped to reduce the number of attacks from about 20 a year to just one or two a year. I feel there may well be a connection between Labrynthitis and AF, although my doctor says there is no evidence to support this. However, since joining this site I have read of several of you who suffer from being light headed and dizzy, and to my thinking that is a bit more than coincidence.


Hi Langara

You may well be right. I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis .6 months later with Atrial Tachycardia ,2months after that Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter. It seems that I never had Labyrinthitis ,the symptoms are very similar to the heart problems worth checking out your diagnosis is the correct one.



I have AF, I was also diagnosed with Labyrinthitis a few years ago, I have the same problems many times since, I have bradycardia, which is associated with the hypothyroidism, which I have. I gave up seeing the GP, it was usually the same thing.

I had open heart surgery in 2006 to repair a hole in the heart, they tried the Maze procedure to fix the 'leaky valve/valves.' I still have a 'leaky valve'. I am now deeply concerned as what is going to happen. I had a check up in January with my cardiologist, so far so good, they are keeping a watch on me, it seems that is not suitable.

I had been checking the websites to find out more about the safety of yoga and heart conditions, I have masses if info from years back. Enough of that, I came across recent information, quote 'Prompt surgery may be best for Heart Valve Leak'. The info was released Tuesday Aug. 13 (Health Day News) Medicinenet.com.

Comments please, and will you ensure the info is passed on to all.

I do not want any other person not knowing about the risks. There are many people like myself who has had to live in the shadows, perhaps it is time we came out.

What is happening, and why is it allowed to continue? Are we, the patients, the only people to know what is wrong with us?


Hi vivante

Sorry for your suffering

I really agree that each patient is unique case and understand his own body and symptoms more than doctors , I don't want to give you headache stating personal experience on this

Doctors will make assessment about the leakage degree considering your symptoms

I had earlier two open heart surgeries to replace aortic valve with other tissue valve in 1987

Second operation in 2000 replacing the destroyed tissue valve with metal valve ( carob medic) in Texas / Houston

It was successful experience , and I become completely normal after that within a month

When I reached ST Luke's hospital I was nearly dead , aortic valve was not working al all , I was on wheelchair , having kidney and lever sever problems due to heart failure

They kept me in ICUS for few days till fluids pass out from my body then changed the valve

I really thank god first and the doctors there for saving my life

Nowadays replacing valves surgeries are more advance, and if I have to do it again I will do it without thinking

If you need more details I'm happy to support you in this and thank god we have the knowledge and technology to treat such cases

All the best



Maitha, Many, many thanks for your reply. I must admit I have felt some anxiety as to what will happen. Thankfully, over the years more and more research is being done, we can only be grateful for that, but I am like so many other people who at the time, tend to ask 'why me'? It is only what has happened to us are we able to help others.

I have also been seeing an oncologist, after having a scan on the abdomen, I now have gallstones and they have found a lesion on the right kidney.

The GP's will put a notice on the door saying'gone to lunch' when they see me coming.

I now have found the courage to mention the conditions that I have, I am beginning to feel like a rusty tin can.

Many thanks once again and take care.



Thank you everyone for getting back to me. My GP sent me to see a balance specialist and he has ruled out any problem with my ears. I know that it is tied up with the status of my AF. When I am out of AF I get practically no light-headedness but when I am in AF I get quite a bit. Usually I need to lie down for an hour and then I notice there is some improvement.

I am waiting for the specialist to get back from his holiday and I don't want to see anyone else at this stage. He has made a point on collecting all the original medical reports when I was first diagnosed and went to hospital. I did take with me all my daily BP and pulse readings which he said was quite valuable to him. One of the things he notice was that when I am not in AF my pulse sits constantly at 60 bpm. And I can attest to this because if I climb up the stairs the pulse rates still does not rise. What he his thinking of is whether or not the sotolol is really holding down the heart too much. But until we got everything back including another 24 hour tape eat does not want to interfere with dosages. At the moment he is on holiday so I'm waiting for him to get back at the beginning of September.

I have thought that it could be the heart in bradycardia and its inability to supply oxygen to the brain so I bought a Pulse Oximeter and that 96% to 98% is quite normal.

After reading the posts on this forum and also other information I have come to the conclusion that we really need cardiologists who specialise in AF. I'm not too pleased with my cardiologists because 2 different GPs have contacted him but he's never said that he wants to see me and the discharge me from the clinic after the cardioversion which was successful for 12 months.

Once again thank you very much, just a hearing other people's experiences is of great support.



Hello..I am in the states; had a balloon catheter ablation 10 weeks ago. I never experienced vertigo or dizziness until being diagnosed with A-Fib. Before the ablation I could barely go down a flight of stairs without feeling I was going to fall....my depth perception was all screwy!! Haven't had any issues with any of this since my ablation!! Hoping this is permanent!! Robert, you are so right; cardiologists only know so much about this condition and an EP is the only one who does! Good luck with your AF!


Thank you very much for that information. I have no idea what the situation is in the UK to get an EP done perhaps someone on the forum might be able to enlighten us. I am pleased to hear that you are feeling so much better.



hi Robert you should be able to see a EP in any reasonable cardiology dept in the uk


Thank you very much for that I should be talking to the specialist on 2 September when I next see him.

It would be great to get things fixed I was feeling quite good this morning so I was getting myself ready to go out and then it hit me again and all I could do was go to bed. I'm going to have another go tomorrow.



yes the same situation as me , all I can do is go to bed , it not nice mate , 2nd of sept me birthday good luck , general cardiologist no nowt , you need a full EP assessment ,read about FIRM ablation one day hopefully uk hospitals will be following this protocol to terminate AF


Robert, Is there some confusion reading your post? An EP is not something you have done, it's a person. They are cardios who specialises in arrhythmias. IMHO and reading other peoples posts, EP's are the only ones who you can be certain to understand AF.

IMO dizziness is part and parcel of AF. It's THE symptom that resulted in my first diagnosis, I couldn't stand up which was a bit of a give-away :-) . As you say, if your ticker isn't ticking properly, how can it get sufficient blood to your highest point, the head? That's certainly how it has worked with me anyhow.

If I feel slightly dizzy sometimes, I breathe deeply straight away and that works for me. But only got a slight problem in that sense at the moment.

Good luck


PS. I don't understand this forum sometimes. This topic came up on my list of latest ones, and yet all other replies are 4 months' old !!! Or am I missing something?


Hypertension can cause dizziness. When you lie down make sure you have one pillow beneath your head, lie down slowly, when you wake, please ensure you roll onto your side and ease yourself up into a seated position, pause for a moment until you get your balance. Don't bend over to pick things up from the floor, came into a semi squat position and ease up slowly. If you suffer from nosebleeds, check your medication is right for you. Please don't raise your arms above your head too quickly, if you do need to reach anything on a high shelf, try not to tilt your head back. Safer to get someone else to do it? Strangely enough I have had the same and over the years through trial and error I found it works.


Hello Vivante

Thank you so much for your replies and comments. You seem to be in a worse position than me but then so does a lot of other people on this forum. Just to clarify things my diabetes is they well-controlled in fact that is got better than it was one year ago. About 5 or 6 years ago I was diagnosed with hypertension it was quite severe 210/180 I was put on nifedipine immediately. That did bring it down somewhat but it needed the edition of ramapril. Since then my BP has been excellent I would say that it averages out something like 125/65. The only time it is changed is when some doctor decides to fiddle with things. Beta-blockers do not affect my BP.

So I'm left with this AF. I am currently in AF at the moment but I recorded my BP and pulse only a few minutes ago. My pulse was 60 bpm and that seems to be a bit too slow for an irregular pulse. I am wondering if it is as my doctor was suspecting that the sotolol may be causing the problems. It certainly seems to have got worse when this GP and increase the sotolol 160 mg daily. He didn't want to change anything until it collected all the information from the cardiologist in the hospital.



Evening Everyone, I take 16mg Betahistine three times a day, having been diagnosed with Meniere's syndrome some 20 years ago. However, the dizziness I get with AF is totally different from a Meniere's attack during which I have to hang on to the floor to stop me falling off, with AF it's more of a light headed dizziness and then a draining of all energies leading to passing out, so for me I don't feel there is a connection


That is very interesting. I have been talking to a friend of mine a few moments ago and I said I recognise 2 types of dizziness if you call it that. One in which I almost blackout with this terrible rushing in my head. It was on one of these occasions that my friend after I phoned came and collected me from the Tesco car park. She took me up to the doctors and I saw the on-call GP. She increase my level of sotolol. It was after taking this a higher level of sotolol that I started to get this continuous dizziness which fluctuates but is definitely got worse. The doctor was pointing at the sotolol.

For example I got up this morning feeling quite bright and energetic. 2 hrs later I was in such a busy and unsteady state that I had to get myself back to bed. At this moment in the evening I am feeling quite good and when I finish this message I need to get away from the computer and do a few chores around the place.

It can be very hard to describe the sensations to another person.

Thank you so much for your feedback.



Before you read this I wish to make it quite clear that I do not advise anyone doing what I have done.

This dizziness I was suffering was simply getting worse and worse to the point that I was not able to leave home without the risk of hitting the ground. I was spending more time in bed than out, usually putting myself back to bed because that was the only place I was comfortable. I was waiting for my doctor to return who I will see on Monday 2nd September, but I could not wait any longer.

Off my own back I gradually cut back the sotolol to which there was rather a rapid improvement. All the dizziness has left me, I seem to have quite a bit more energy and I feel much more confident in going out. I had a lovely day out yesterday in Nottingham and not a problem of any sort. Occasionally I might get slightly short of breath. I'm still in AF and my pulse is remaining between 70 and 90 bpm.

When I reduce the sotolol I use the criteria of keeping my pulse between the accepted norm of 60-100 bpm. I am now taking sotolol 40 mg twice a day which looks as if it could be below the therapeutic level.

I'm certainly not going to take it again regardless of what the Dr says unless there is a clear indication for it, that is if I go into tachycardia.

There has been so much I wanted to do this summer and was unable to do so. So I will have to try to catch up on a few things.

As I started this thread I thought it was right I should let the group know the outcome.



Hi Robert

I used to take Sotalol for my PAF. I've just been and found the packet and I used to take 1 x 40mg tablet twice a day. That was as advised by my cardiologist, so it looks as though the dose you are taking now should be o.k.



Thank you Jean your comments. The thing I found in the prescribing information was to start at 80 mg twice a day but then I haven't done huge amount of searching. But I will say this, as an ex-nurse I have become extremely sceptical of the health profession. It is so different when you become a patient as specially with a chronic condition.

Jean you said you used to take sotolol, why did you stop taking it and did the cardiologist give you anything else in its place or was it considered you could manage without it. Also after you stop taking it did you feel better?



You may also like...