A pacemaker is a tiny electronic device which is inserted in the chest under the skin for the purpose of controlling abnormal or irregular heartbeats. Pacemakers send electric pulses to the heart to normalize the heart rhythms. Mostly, pacemakers are implanted to treat arrhythmias, in which your heart starts beating too slow, too fast, or have irregular heartbeats.
In Arrhythmia, the heart is unable to pump sufficient amount of blood which results in numerous symptoms like fainting, shortness of breath, and/or fatigue. If left untreated, the situation can grow severe and cause damage to important organs, unconsciousness and in extreme cases, death.
Pacemakers not only regulate the heartbeats, but also relieve the patient from the symptoms like fainting and fatigue. It enables the patients to lead an active and normal lifestyle.
Lifestyle Changes Required
When a pacemaker is implanted, there are a few lifestyle changes that are required. Your doctor might suggest certain changes, including:
• Stress management
• Eliminate smoking
• Healthy diet
• Regular exercise
Moreover, it is important to regularly monitor the rate of your heart beats and take the prescribed medications to manage your heart condition. It is also essential to be on a lookout for any negative changes you may experience, like:
• Ankles or/and feet swelling
• Rapid weight gain
Make sure you report these symptoms and changes to your doctor so that your treatment plan can be adjusted accordingly.
Pacemaker Safety Precautions
While, you can lead a perfectly normal life with a pacemaker, it is always best to take certain precautions. Here are a few safety tips:
• Ensure that you have your pacemaker card with you wherever you go in case of emergency. It is recommended that you wear a medical necklace or bracelet so that others know that you are wearing a pacemaker in case of any accident.
• Make sure you tell your dentist, physician, or other medical provider about your pacemaker since certain medical equipment, for instance MRI equipment, may get affected and might not show accurate results.
• When you are about to pass through a security check at venues like a sports arena or airports, notify the security that you are wearing a pacemaker.
• Inquire from your doctor about the home appliances that can be regularly used and which ones you shouldn’t use. Certain appliances like microwaves don’t affect the device but there could be others that might cause some interference.
• Always talk on your smartphone on the opposite ear from where your pacemaker is implanted. Avoid carrying it in your coat or shirt’s breast pocket.
Getting Your Pacemaker Checked
It is best to get your pacemaker checked regularly. Your pacemaker might stop functioning with time, if:
• The wires are broken or dislodged
• The battery fails or gets weak
• The disease of your heart escalates
• The device is disrupted by signals from other devices
It is highly possible to lead a normal life after the implantation of the pacemakers. It helps in regulating your heartbeats, while it also prevents and restricts the symptoms of the heart condition. It is highly recommended that you get regular checkups to keep a tab on your heart condition and the condition of your pacemaker in order to maintain your health.