Heart rate monitor watch

I do not always know when I am in afib because I don't get dizzy or shortness of breath; just feel a flutter. To help, I just wear my Polar heart rate watch with the band around my chest that I initially purchased about 7 years ago for working out. I find it to be very accurate. It helps me to know how high or low my pulse is. I was wearing it when I discovered ice cream was a trigger! I feel episodes almost every morning when I wake up and when I lie down at night. This has been confirmed with the watch. My cardiologist is aware and we are discussing medications since I am not on any medications at this time.

15 Replies

  • I could do with one of those. I only have an app on my phone but with my heart flutter and AF it's not really accurate, it has a problem picking up the rate.

    Mornings and nights are worse for me too and also after eating or if I'm hungry.

    Good luck with getting the meds from your Dr for this awful condition.

    All the best to you. X

  • Yes, it has helped me, too. I have found the type with the band around the chest is more accurate. Polar is a good brand to try. My afib also kicks in after eating. I'm just not sure the side effects of the meds are worth it, so I'm on the fence to try Multaq.

  • I am just getting the polar M400 so will feed back. Are you sure about your AF it seems you are in and out of it for short periods of time, are you just converting back to NSR on its own?

  • Yes, I convert on my own with no medications. The doctor confirms this. I don't have any symptoms of dizziness or shortness of breath so I have decided to not take the Multaq. The dr said it was more a "quality of life" to take it at this time. It just increases my feeling tired.

  • I've got 2 and they don't work for me when in AF. The Polar, as others have said, just jumps up to 200 and sticks there. Then it'll suddenly drop to a normal rate in an instant. I spoke to an EP about it who said they can't measure your heart rate properly when in AF because they can't tell what is a beat and what isn't. Guess it also matters what the AF is like and how chaotic it is, mine is chaotic. But by maxing out at 200, it did at least tell me I was in AF, but on the other hand, I already knew.

    Based on what the EP said, I would beware taking too much notice of the actual reading.


  • Yes, I have had this happen on occasion. I back it up with a pulse ox, if I have questions. Just clip on my finger. The watch is not 100% but helps me to know.

  • HI Koll, I found the description of your AF as being chaotic worthy of a question! I have had PAF since 2004 but this episode has not reverted back into NSR this time. My pulse is all over the place and my sleep time is a nightmare excuse the pun. Is this what you would consider chaotic? and is there any relief from same if the right combination of medication is prescribed?

    Keep Well.


  • Hi Phyllis, yes, to be precise my arrhythmia is constant and my pulse is all over the place but only without drugs. My EP has tried me on numerous drugs, all rhythm control in my case. One gave me palpitations, one made me very depressed, the next worked quite well, and finally the last one work very well indeed for me. So Now yes I have relief from all symptoms and am just normal as long as I don't drink and be a bit careful with other things like eating too much. So everything I say is only if I'm off the drugs as I normally have total relief.


  • Thanks Koll, the cardiologist is trying a combination of drugs, beta blockers and, rate control.

    I am fairly uncomfortable at the present time so it is good to know there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thank you as always for taking the time to reply to my post.


  • As Koll says, none of these 'electrical gadgets', be they measurers of heart beat or blood pressure, will have any accuracy during an AF episodes. Such machines simply measure the time gap between each pulse which, of course, is erratic in AF. The chaotic readings may tell you you're in AF I suppose - if you need to be told - but you shouldn't take any notice of the actual readout.

  • I to used a polar watch with chest strap, best thing I ever bought, when in Af you can see how erratic your heart rhythm is, no wonder you feel so ill, having hit 220 bmp at one point, I recommend resting up until the figure drops thankfully and the episode pass's, however long it takes.

  • Interesting post about "the various gadgets" I am in hospital at present awaiting a gallbladder op, that has been delayed because of me being extremely high risk,(AF + dilated cardiomyopathy + heart block). One of the nurses always takes my pulse at my wrist. She said with AF patients you can not take reading from the SpO2 finger probe, as the reading is useless. When you watch the display, in my case, it jumps around between 35 and 75, when my average at present is 65. I find the most accurate reading is with my Alivecor monitor over a 1 minute recording. I compared my Alivecor trace with the lead 1 ECG trace done at the hospital and the two traces are identical. Mind you, I have to do the recording from my chest since the finger method doesn't work for me. (Skin resistance is too high). Gallbladder op now scheduled for 1:00 pm Monday 2nd Feb.


  • Dear Walter, wishing you well on the 2nd Feb and hope you make a speedy recovery.

  • Thanks Bryonny for your kind good wishes


  • I wear a chest band which is calibrated to my Suunto watch. My EP told me that they are interested in the rhythm not the rate. Most watches measure rate.The more expensive devices however can measure rhythm. Don't know how accurate any of these really are but it is a good source of information to help determine limits. I do use the watch to let me know when I get to close to my red zone for pushing me into Afib. I had one bike ride that I tracked with my watch while in Afib. Not pretty.

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