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AF Association
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Sleep apnea and PAF

I have PAF with very high heart rate and atrial flutter. It was kept under control for 2.5 yers by 100mg flecenaide twice daily and apixaban. I also have ME/CFS which is a chronic disease and am mostly bed or housebound.

I had 3 PAF serious episodes after 2.5 year necessitating cardioversion October november and December last year. My medication was changed but as i am very sensitive to medication after a few try outs out i am now on sotanol 40 mg twice a day in addition to flecanaide. My EP in the UK said if this does not work i might go the ablation route.

We live in SA in the British winter and my daughter a medical dr took me to my SA cardiologist which i met in hospital 2015. He took an echo and said my left atrium has increased considerably and my heart is struggling. He took my blood pressure and decided it too high. No dr in the UK has ever worried about my blood pressure and that this might contribute to my PAF and heart enlargement.

I was sent to the sleep clinic and hey presto i have moderate sleep apnea.

I am now trying to adapt to high blood pressure tablets, and will have to use a gpap machine with a mask over my face when i sleep.

Did any of you had a similar type of experience and how are you coping. It seems to me my chronic illnesses are just piling up and my quality of life is gone. I have a lot of fatigue and body aches with the ME and having to cope with all this on top is just becoming too much

8 Replies

When I had my first emergency visit to hospital because of AF I ended up on a ward for 14 days as they couldn't get my HR down to below 140, even on 12.5 mg of bisoprolol.

My left atrium had also become enlarged, weather due to AF high blood pressure or both I'm not sure. However when my BP had been reduced and I had been cardioverted and HR back to normal levels my atrium returned to normal size after 3 months or so.

During my stay the nurses noticed my sleep apnoea (something my doctor had refused to believe I had for years)

My wonderful EP referred me to the sleep clinic where sleep apnoea was diagnosed, very mild with only a few episodes per night, but my O2 sats quickly dipped below 85% when I stopped breathing.

I've been using a CPAP machine now for 2 years or more, it was absolute hell for the first month getting used to it all, but now it feels odd to not put the mask on at bed time.

I'm coping very well, I'm exercising more than ever, eating a healthy diet, losing weight and feeling the best I have in a long time


Thanks this is reassuring.

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Hi Bettiehough

Sorry you have so many co-mordities. It is good that your sleep apnoea and hypertension have now been diagnosed as treatment for these will improve your AF.some EPs in the UK will not ablate until treatment for SA has been done as it is a major factor for AF.

It's hard with your other problems but exercise of some sort is vital in order to help you keep your BP down- if I don't walk a little each day mine goes up- and the possible reason no one mentions it is they all know it is important for aF and take it for granted that GPs are treating it.

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I know of the importance of exercise but i have ME and cant walk far i am also in a wheelchair. I try to do light exercises in the pool for 15 minutes 3 times a week if i well enough to leave the house.


swimming is excellent. Can you do upper body exercises in your wheelchair? even gentle movements will help health circulation..


I try to go to pool when I able to out and walking in pool with a noodle.


I'm sorry to hear of your health troubles. Have you ever thought you might have Lyme disease? You might want to explore the possibility on the EuroLyme Yahoo group. They will answer your questions.


I had myself tested for Lyme twice in different countries. I have ME and fybromyalgia but thanks for tip.


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