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AF Association
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Can AF have a 'dormant' period?

Hi all,

As some of you might know, I discovered that I'd had a few AF episodes a few years' back, and I've felt far better (generally) over the last year or so.

However, I had a strange yet familiar sensation earlier this evening. Essentially, whenever I ever had an episode of AF in the past, it'd come on rather suddenly, and mainly when I was lying down in bed. I can best describe the sensation as a quick jab to the chest, which is normally a particularly nasty ectopic beat, followed by palpitations.

It happened very quickly this evening, and my heart rate almost immediately stabilised, but it did bring back some very distinct memories.

Can AF have a 'dormant' period, if you will? Ie. can it reappear after years of absence? I'm not too worried about it - certainly not to the extent I was a few years ago. Generally, I'm curious to see whether anyone else has had any similar experiences and whether anyone can shed light on whether AF can be 'dormant'.



2 Replies

Hi Mike - I think AF can go quiet as mine did at the beginning. I was undiagnosed for about 6 years and for 2 or 3 of those I had no episodes. I assumed my funny turns were caused by using solvents in my paintings. When I stopped using any solvents, the funny turns ceased.

I know now that was coincidence but, we are all different and this lousy condition is different in each of us.


There are those who have one episode of AF and not another for a decade. I had years when it was mostly dormant, until it wasn't. AF does tend to be progressive. Lifestyle changes can help significantly, but once you have the AF substrate, it is rare that it does not progress. AF tends to be a reflection of one's overall health, so doing everything you can to be healthy can help to keep it at bay. Try catching those ectopics and palpitations on EKG to determine whether or not it is AF or merely PAC's or PVC's. You'll want to know your Chads-vasc score to determine your risk for stroke. Whether you have a lot of AFib or a little, you need to make sure you are following the guidelines for stroke protection.


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