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Is it safe to fly while having atrial flutter?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
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is it a bad idea to fly if someone has an episode with atrial flutter
Posted Sun, 6 Jan 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Kulbir Singh 2 hours later
Hello XXXXXXX and thanks for writing in

Atrial fibrillation is more on cardiac electrical impulses than atmospheric pressure-induced, so high altitudes do not have that high of a correlation with the said disease.

The complication of your disease, however, is more related and more likely to be triggered by anxiety-filled situations, is flying or any other situations or events that trigger an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks increases heart rate that could switch your cardiovascular physiology to the atrial fibrillation state.

If flying triggers an anxiety attack towards you, then there is a high chance that it would also trigger atrial fibrillation in your state. Remember that flying per se is not the problem but the event itself that give rise to atrial fibrillation. If this is the case, you have some options to remedy this.

Atrial Fibrillation is well treated by medications like Beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers. I recommend you see a cardiologist and discuss your case. If needed possible anxiolytic medications will help you if you have some anxiety.

Write back if you have any doubt.

Best Wishes

Dr. Kulbir Singh
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