Does Air Pollution Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

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I write and talk a lot about air pollution and heart disease. We’ve known for a long time, from a wide array of studies, that air pollution can lead to heart disease and heart attacks.

Air pollution has always caused my heart to race, but I thought I was unusual in that regard. Apparently not.

A new study talks about the impact of air pollution on the heart’s electrical functioning:

Read Can Air Pollution Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

After reading it, please come back and add your comments to this blog as to what your experience is – has air pollution caused or triggered your atrial fibrillation?

83 Responses to Does Air Pollution Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

  • Gwen Eyeington says:

    I started taking up oil painting about 4 years ago. I painted routinely, about 3 nights a week. About a year after I started painting I had my first afib attack. I was diagnosed with lone afib. My next episode was a year later, then I got it every 6 months, then every 3 months, every 10 days and now every other day. I continue to paint and have wondered from time to time if perhaps the odorless turpentine I have been using could have triggered my afib. I clean my brushes with it so it gets on my skin, and even though I try to have ventillation in my studio (window) I wonder if Ihave been harning myself. Is anyone else out there an artist with afib?

  • jan zacharski says:

    The comments about a-fib and air pollution interested me. I developed a-fib this year, just a few months after moving into my newly renovated home. When I moved in 90% of home was new, new wood, fresh paint, just refinished floors, new cabinets, new furniture, and the “new home smell”. My a-fib started in March, (5 months later). I’ve found no research to support this possibility. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

  • Mellanie says:

    Gwen and Jan,

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with afib.

    Though I have no research to back this up, I think you’ve both found a major trigger for your afib.

    I’m hearing from so many folks experiencing problems with chemicals and pesticides that they believe are related to their afib. I recently received an e-mail from one who is consistently triggered by pesticides sprayed on a ballpark next to her house.

    I haven’t seen research into this, but I, too, have always been very sensitive to chemicals, fragrances, and molds, and have at times had my heart race from them.

    These things cause allergies or inflammatory reactions in the body, and since afib can be caused by inflammation, this relationship makes sense.

    Inflammation is the cause of afib following surgery, which subsides as the heart heals. Thus, afib should subside as these toxins are eliminated from your life and removed from the body.

    The challenge is to figure out how. There are some great environmental medicine books on the subject by Dr. William J. Rea, Dr. Doris Rapp, and Dr. Sherry Rogers. One of the best collections of books and articles on the subject is at the American Environmental Health Foundation (http://www.aehf.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=30).

    By the way, we do NOT have any financial relationship with them except for the fact that I have personally spent megabucks with them buying items that have significantly helped the health of our family. They are here in Texas, so they’re convenient for us, but I’m sure you can find resources in your area, too.

    Jan, For a new house, high efficiency HEPA air cleaners might start helping to handle all the outgassing of chemicals, but more may be needed. (Austin Air high-efficiency filters have been a lifesaver for us.) There are some great books on the subject of detoxing a house.

    Gwen, Not being an artist, I don’t know about options for paints and cleaners, but perhaps some of the books listed above may help.

    I wish you both much success in eliminating your afib triggers.

    Wishing you both continued normal sinus rhythm,
    Mellanie

  • Darryl Crain says:

    I have Afib. I have been a runner for 27 years. Ran every other day in San Jose, Ca after work there. Lots of trees so there is lots of oxygen in the area where I ran, but lots of “hidden” smog also from auto traffic.
    From reviewing “maps” of the areas of the left atrium that require ablative isolation to insure a high sucess rate for curing artial fibrillation it is obvious that these areas, particularly the pulmonary veins, are the first in the heart to be exposed to any blood-transported toxins entering from the lungs.
    That suggest to me that there may be some connection between airborne toxins and Afib.
    I also have a gut feeling/hunch, whatever, that if statices were available and checked there would be a significant rise in atrial fib with the advent of the use of catalytic converters on autos in the early 70’s. Cat converters. when fed by any internal combustion engine exhaust, put out chemical compounds that they don’t even have names for yet.
    There were rampant respiratory problems with auto mechanics when the converters were first used, but suddenly there was no more mention of that problem.
    I would like very much to spend perhaps 6 months in Tasmania (Australia), which is reported to have the best air on the planet, run all the time I am there and see if anything changed.
    Darryl

  • Mellanie says:

    Darryl,

    I’m sorry you are part of the afib club.

    You’re right about the “hidden smog” in San Jose, and of course the molds can be bad there, too. Some bikers and motorcyclists wear masks over their faces while out in traffic, but that’s kind of hard for runners.

    I used to spend a lot of time in San Jose when I worked for a tech company headquartered there; the molds would really get to me, especially at certain hotels.

    Our doctor always says that pollutants are additive – once they reach a certain level in your body, all it takes is a tiny bit more to overwhelm and swamp your system. Afib may be one of the ways your system manifests being overwhelmed.

    I remember one especially difficult off-site meeting in San Jose–after feeling queasy all morning sitting through meetings at a moldy hotel, we were then taken by bus to our team building activity. The bus had such a terrible diesel exhaust leak that I was sick to my stomach and shaking by the time we reached the park. My body was so overwhelmed by things to which I was allergic that I couldn’t even breathe.

    Of course, the park was moldy, too–leaves, algae in the pond, etc.–and I remember having heart palpitations (I don’t know if it was afib), and being dizzy, short of breath, and feeling like I was going to pass out. My brain shut down, and I couldn’t even focus on the team building challenges. I vividly remember a fellow team member (a member of senior management) criticizing me for over-reacting, saying I should have “sucked it up” and kept going. Of course, it was only a few days later that I ended up in emergency heart surgery in which I nearly died.

    Do I believe that allergies and air pollution can contribute to afib? Absolutely.

    Good luck.

    Mellanie

  • Jen Eberhart says:

    This is all new to us. My husband developed A FIB back in Jan 08 at the age of 31. He has no underlying heart disease, but we did discover some heart disease on his side of the family. He did not convert on his own and remained in A FIB until his cardioversion in May. Thankfully, he has been fine ever since. This past Saturday, at the age of 34, I woke up in A FIB. I was in the hospital, treated, and released the next day. Lucky for me, I converted to normal sinus on my own during my hospital stay. I have no underlying heart disease to my knowledge, although I stll have to have an echo and a stress test. There is nothing like this on my side of the family that I am aware of.
    I work in the hospital that I was in and everyone was scaring me, telling me that it would be unusual for both of us to have A FIB, being so young. Then of course, the environment came up. This makes me nervous since we have a 3 year old daughter. We haven’t done anything unusual to our house lately.
    Also, my family has been through a lot of stress this year, deaths in the family, etc. Should we have anything tested in our home? Is this as unusual as people say? please help! thank you

  • Mellanie says:

    Jen,

    The stress you all have been through can certainly bring on atrial fibrillation. That may well be what is going on.

    It is unusual for young folks like ya’ll to have afib, except with lots of exercise. Are you both big runners or exercisers, or have you been in the past? That is a fairly common trigger.

    It’s certainly possible that something in your home environment could be a trigger, and with a 3-year old, it would be good to figure it out, or hopefully rule it out.

    You mentioned that you haven’t done anything unusual in your house lately, but it can sometimes take 2-5 years for things to outgas sufficiently to no longer be an issue for those who are sensitive to the environment.

    Things to look at might be: How old is your house? Any new carpet, paint, or renovation in the past 5 years? Any new furniture in the past 5 years? Or are you in an area with lots of molds? What about pesticides or strong chemical cleaning products? What about lawn care products on your yard–anything unusual applied this year?

    There are so many possibilities in the home environment that you wonder where to start. A couple of really good books that helped us look at environmental issues with our son were “Is This Your Child” and “Is This Your Child’s School?”, both by Dr. Doris Rapp.

    Good luck sorting this all out.

    Mellanie

  • Jen Eberhart says:

    Thank you for your reply.
    We used to play a lot of ice hockey, but that was before our daughter was born. Not much intense exercise going on around here! We’ll check into the house possibilites and of course talk to our pediatrician. I work in a hospital, and it’s funny how doctors almost seem to be afraid to agree that it could be environmental. They pretty much blow off that idea, probably afraid they will create panic. But I hope it’s just a plain ‘ole fluke!
    Thanks again. If we figure out anything that could help others I will post it. Take care.

  • Mellanie says:

    Jen,

    Many doctors don’t have experience with environmental issues, so they can’t really weigh in on that. Hopefully you’re right that it’s just a fluke.

    Good luck with it.

    Mellanie

  • Dianne Fritzler says:

    I am a designer by trade and I became aware of environmental problems affecting the heart, sleep patterns, hormones and many other health issues. I also was a flight attendant for a large air carrier for twenty some years. All I can say is that air quality is everything. All of my close flight attendant friends now have health issues. One has a pace maker and a defibulator , another has cancer and another MS. I have chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivites. Now i guess i am not telling you something you don’t already know . There’s no air in them there airplanes worth breathing. It was bad enough when smoking was allowed , but when they prohibited smoking that gave them the excuse to recirculate some (50%) of the air. The quality was just as bad as when there was smoking. Now when you take off it takes at least 45min to an hour to turn the air one time . This means you are breathing jet fuel, other peoples germs and other unknow offenders. And maybe we don’t want to know . Is it any wonder we flight attendants are sick today and are dealing with health issues that want go away. I became interested in environmental design when I was living in Denver,Co.in the 80’s. I lived in Denver Proper and the pollution was so bad I couldn’t sleep more that a couple of hours a night and my heart would race. I had a filter system installed that filtered dust ,hydrocarbons and molds etc. The first night after that I sleep the entire night for the first time in over a year. I now live in Florida (not real happy about that) because I call that the insecticide state. I am highly allergic to insecticides, but my husband loves it there. I think I became allergic to insecticides when I was flying and they would spray the planes if they were flown into other countries. One of the worst things that happened to me this year in Florida was that the association where I live washed my roof with clorox and a few days later I was in the hospital with afib and my cat developed pnemonia. I wish people weren’t so unaware of what they are doing to themselves and others. We need an awareness program of somekind . I have often thought of approaching radio or T.V. In a way that sounds so far fetched and yet ……………who knows. If your voice isn’t heard and you have something to say that is a real loss. There is another thought I would like to share. I believe road rage is an overload of ingested gas fumes . I had a Boston layover when I was a flight attendant and was in a gridlock downtown. A man got out of his car with a baseballbat and proceeded to knock out every window in another car because it was one of the key cars in the gridlock. It dawned on me that this man must be chemically imbalanced, but why. Then I began to smell the gas fumes myself and my heart began to race and I stared to having palpitations. Also in the airplanes at the gate and taxing behind other airplanes you ingest lots of jet fuel. I truly feel like we have done ourselves a great injustice by overloading our air with petrol. Thank you for your web and for giving me and others the opportunity to tell our stories.

  • Mellanie says:

    Dianne,

    I’m so sorry about your afib. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Like you, many of us are very sensitive to air pollution – I’m one. Gas and jet fuel fumes make me sick to my stomach, and insecticides and clorox cause heart palpitations. Thank goodness for air filters and air cleaners.

    I’m amazed at how many folks have shared with us their chemical sensitivities, especially related to afib and other heart issues. Contrary to what some may think, it’s NOT all in our heads.

    Best wishes to you.

    Mellanie

  • John says:

    I am a 42 year old man who is in decent shape but little over weight never had any problems with my heart until I starting driving a truck 2 yrs ago. I was diagnosed with A Fib. Do you think that the diesel fuel caused this ? It all started while at work , I was unloading my truck when i suddenly got dizzy and felt like i was going to pass out my heart started palpitating i sat down and had a glass of water,but that did not work so i was rushed to the hospital by my boss himself where i stayed for 1 week undergoing all kinds of tests, my heart rate was at 175 at its highest then slowly over the next few days it went down, it was a very scary experience to me and my family. That was 9 months ago and last week I had another episode but it only lasted for 3 days. Now i still remain on Warfarin 7.5 mg and Digoxin 0.25 mg. Do you know how long i should be on the blood thinner ? because people keep telling me i should not be driving my truck while on these medications. Thank You

  • Mellanie says:

    John,

    Diesel is one of the worst sources of air pollution, though I believe the new diesel fuel is much cleaner burning. It’s not an area I know much about, but I’ve heard my spouse mention it as we have a vehicle that runs on diesel.

    I’m totally at a loss and feel like an idiot here, but typically we’d say to shut off the engine whenever it’s not in use and you’re unloading the truck. But I know that the “rules” are different with diesel engines so that’s not feasible and we need to look for another solution.

    I’m really out of my element here, but I do hope that there are ways that you can reduce your exposure. I know that motorcyclists wear masks that have carbon filters that filter exhaust emissions. Would something like that help? They’re not expensive – under $100 – and I know that Respro makes some great masks. I notice that even Amazon carries Respro masks now. We used to have to order them from Canada as they weren’t available in the US. It’s much easier now.

    Regarding the Coumadin, I’m at a loss as to why that’s an issue. If you’re controlling your air pollution exposure and decreasing your afib, I don’t know why you couldn’t continue to drive your truck. The concern about driving and Coumadin might be if you’re in an accident, but I’d think that driving a truck, with the skill it takes to get a CDL, would decrease your risk of an accident or problem. But what do I know!

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions about this.

    Mellanie

  • Michael says:

    I am glad to note that so many are paying attention to specific exposures to various toxins in their lives v. those who see the words “air pollution” and assume the air they are breathing is fine.

    My wife has had a long-standing history of atrial fibrillation with few serious episodes, each having self-converted. The last two were as follows: 1. She had been removing old paint from a fireplace mantle using toxic paint solvent – that evening, she went by ambulance to a local hospital where, after several hours, she converted to nl rhythm. A month later, I arrived home to find her faint, doubled over and complaining of persistent AF. My first thought was that we were about to head back to the hospital. Second, I asked what she had been doing that day = “painting the risers” on steps leading to the upstairs (without ventillation). I immediately gave her 15 drops of a natural substance that removes heavy metals and other toxins. Within 10 minutes, the AF had stopped and it has not recurred, now for four months (and while staying away from harmful toxic substances). One can find a wealth of information at http://www.ewg.org under Health/Toxins, then look under Body Burden. The “writing is on the wall” and in volumes of published literature but, as mentioned elsewhere, little of such information has found its way into medical practice where few physicians ask about toxic exposure and fewer test for heavy metals and toxins; all while such exposures have their effects of each of us.

  • jim byrnes says:

    i have glued thousands of feet of pvc piping in the last year and a half. one day on a job i lost my vision and my heart felt like it was pumping dry and i could hear it making a loud dry swooshing sound. i layed immediately on my back falling pretty much just in time to stabilize my heart after one minute or so my vision returned i felt able but weakend so i kept working. on the way home in traffic three hours after the incident it happend again. i was stopped at light behind a diesel truck that smell set it off immediately i layed flat on my back in van and again my vision returned.this a- fib problem recurred eleven times over the month every time i was exposed to cooking fumes, car exhaust,glue fumes unbearable, upon every exposure vision would cease i noticed by immediately laying flat on my back i could stop the vision loss or at least lesson it and the a- fib .however one day i tried to lean forward instead at that moment i coud feel my heart struggling dry again and hear it swooshing i immediately lyed on my back in the dirt and just as before it stabilized the a-fib again.i was on my back one day with the baby on my lap the cooking fumes from our kitchen triggered my heart to malfuction and my vision was going i thought what do i do im already on my back i think im not going to make it this time then i relized the frying fumes were strong i scurried through the door and layed outside with the baby. sure enough my vision came back and my heart stabilized. this problem became triggered by smoke, normal house hold cleaning chemicals just about any kind of irritant set it off .i have been in perfect health my whole life with no history of heart trouble prior to this work with pvc primers and glues . now i write to you it has been ten months since first episode. i have been looking for answers only over the last three months although i am very sure of the cause what is the solution. under heavy lifting i begin to loose vision time to time as well now. i am damaged yes but to what extent and how do i beat this j.b.

  • Tom Clarke says:

    I have had Afib for about 15 years, ever since moving into the house we are in. I take Flecanide and verapamil for that, which works very well in controlling this most of the time, but in the Fall it gets worse. I always believed it was something about the weather or maybe something about leaves or the fact we usually have a fan in the window at night that might bring it on. Perhaps it could be a simple as the air conditioner is off, which might mean the air is no longer filtered like in Summer. Other possible triggers could be mold in the basement, radon, allegies to foods eaten in fall, etc. Anyone with ideas on this?

  • Mellanie says:

    Tom,

    I always find that molds get very bad in the fall for me, and am struggling with them this year, having almost no voice left. They seem much worse than usual right now.

    Allergies are a real problem for me, and I hear that from a lot of others with afib. A lot of folks tell me that they have afib related to molds and that this is the time of year that is the worst.

    I also hear from folks who have problems with chemicals and afib, but that is normally in the spring when outdoor spraying is common. If there has been some spraying recently in your area, that could have something to do with it.

    Our son’s doctor tells us that with allergies there is the “barrel syndrome.” Your body normally handles toxins and allergens until there are so many that they swamp your body. It’s like pouring water into a barrel–it will hold more and more until it reaches the top; then if you pour in more water, it overflows. That’s what happens to our bodies when they are overloaded with toxins and allergens.

    It’s possible that your body has just become swamped by too many things right now, and it could be any or several of those things you listed. Good luck sorting it out.

    Mellanie

  • Darryl Crain says:

    Sometimes I could do without being right.

    I keep doing research on the idea of pollution because of the things mentioned by me here is 2008.

    Have found the following recently:
    Italian researchers have found that 100 percent of the subjects with lone atrial fibrillation, in a recent test, had serious and extensive cell damage in their left atria. This was from biopsies. They did not have damage to the remainder of their heart structure, specifically the ventricles.

    Other data indicates that individuals who participate in endurance exercise are “2 to 5 times more likely to develop atrial fibrillation.” Considering that air pollution is essentially everywhere nowadays, I think the case for air pollution causing lone atrial fibrillation is starting to look pretty solid.

  • Mellanie says:

    Darryl,

    I think those of us impacted by air pollution and who have afib believe that there is a correlation. However, research on athletes shows that a lot of their afib is related to atrial stretch and fibrosis due to stress on the heart, such as the low heart rate causing pumping of large volumes of blood on a single pump. Air pollution could certainly factor in for many of them, but that doesn’t explain basketball players who practice indoors and who have high rates of afib.

    Mellanie

  • Darryl Crain says:

    The atrial stretch and stress related fibrosis fits in, and may well be my problem. At one time, when I was in peak condition, my resting heart rate was clocked at 42 beats per minute.

    Do you have a reference on line for the research on fibrosis in athletes?

    But… the part on the basketball players doesn’t track, because the air inside is the same air that is outside, except that it has additional contamination from all kinds of sources such as vapors from plastics, adhesives, and such used in construction. Almost all sources agree that inside air is worse than outside.

  • YVONNE GRECO says:

    I PROBABLY HAD A FIB SYMPTOMS BEFORE OUT TRIP TO CHINA, BUT WITHIN 2 DAYS I HAD A SINUS INFECTION- . THERE WAS NO WESTERN MEDICINE ON THE BOAT ON THE YANGZE RIVER AND I WAS FORCED TO SEEK HELP FROM AN EATERN DOCTOR. I WAS STILL ILL AND CONGESTED WITH NEAR PNEUMONIA WHEN I FINALLY RECEIVED ANTIBIOTICS. UPON RETURN TO THE USA I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A FIB AND I AM ON WARFARIN AND A DRUG TO SLOW THE BEAT OF THE HEART.

  • Tom Clarke says:

    Thank you Melanie. In a follow up, I have scheduled an appointment with an allergist to see if there are some things I am allergic to that can be avoided. I have been told to try to take a Benadryl, as that will counter many allergins. That might be worth trying. I have also started to take anti inflamatory meds like Advil, to see if that helps when I am in AFib, seems to work so far. I definitely think my cause is something airborne or ingested and I wish there were more studies being done on this. The regular meds I take dont seem to control the afib like they used to (Flecanide and Verapamil), so i am looking for answers as I do not want to try that Abalation procedure as yet, as it is not real effective (maybe 40% odds of fixing on the 1st try, plus the risk of forming clots thatmight cause more problems than the Afib). Is anyone interested in starting a facebook page for affibers? Might be great!

  • Tom Clarke says:

    As a follow up to my last post, I just got the diagnosis from the allergist.

    I am very allergic to dust/dust mites, one of the most common molds as well as one type of grass.

    The allergist did not know specifically about the reaction I have with relation to heart rhythms, but he could not rule it out either. It is interesting, however, that I have the most cases of Afib…from October to March, when I am subjected to more dust and mold due to lack of fresh outside air. In the Summer and Spring, I always have windows open or A/C on and therefore hardly any afib.

    I only hope I can reduce the allergins, that may cause inflamations and possibly afib, thus validating or invalidating this possible cause. I will also try Claritin, Benadryl or other allergy meds next time I get an attack, to see if they reduce the symptoms.

    Wish there was more solid evidence so that doctors could start helping more afibbers.

  • Mike McIntyre says:

    I have been a carpet installer for the past 32 years. atleast 20 years ago i would have heart flutter atacks and dizzy spells once in a great while ( maybe 3 or 4 times a year) past it off as working to much & hard! Three years ago I was feeling really weak, no get up and go. Finally went to doctor – A fib. At first we tried the drugs everyone talks about. NO GOOD felt even worse!Then tried a Cardo Version,worked for about 1 week. Since then have had 2 Ablations and still have A Fib. Atleast 2 to 3 episodes a day. Have taken a part time job since the economy has tanked,and havent been near the carpet store in 2 weeks. In that span of 2 weeks I was feeling great no symptoms! Within 20 seconds of walking in the front door of the store I had an episode of heart flutter and was dizzy.At that moment I thought about the chemicals in carpet. I would like to know how many carpet installers have A-Fib

    • Hildy says:

      Mike,
      I just read your comment. I changed the carpet in my bedroom and within 2 days my heartbeat was going all over the place. My eyes were sore too. I removed the carpet and within 2 days any symptoms were gone. I think there is something seriously wrong with carpet.

  • Mellanie says:

    Mike,

    I’m not surprised that the formaldehyde in new carpet could affect you that way. I always get fast heartbeats around new carpet, so I avoid any carpet that is less than 3 years old because it takes that long to outgas.

    I’m not aware of other carpet installers with afib, but it’s quite likely. Some people are more chemically-sensitive than others–I for one am very chemically sensitive.

    Perhaps the build up of exposures to formaldehyde over many years may have had something to do with your afib. If staying away from it is an option, then that could resolve the problem. If not, a mask might be an appropriate thing to try as it is probably the breathing in of the chemical fumes that is impacting you.

    The books mentioned in some comments above have many references to the problems from formaldehyde in carpets along with many other issues, some of which might be include molds in the old carpet being replaced as well as pesticides around floorboards.

    Good luck.

    Mellanie

  • John T. Maher says:

    For many years, both spring and fall I would get low grade fevers my doc called allergy fevers. I 1997 I had quad bypass surgery and ever since then when I got the fevers I’d have skipped heartbeats. 2 years ago I developed atrial fib & my heart doc put me on a med called tikosyn which seems to work fine 99% of the time. Yesterday, having a low grade fever, I experienced rapid hearbeat (129 heart rate) off the charts BP and became extremely breathy. I went to the hospital where my heart went back into sinus rhythm and the emergency doc stated that pollen, mold and crud in the air combined with a fever could indeed bring on arrythmia. Has anybody else had these or similar experiences??

  • Kate says:

    My mother was exposed to smoke and car exhaust in greater quantities than usual just before her heart attack and strokes. She would complain of extreme symptoms every time a car would throw a “bomb” of smelly exhaust while she was on her walks. Could we all band together somehow to lobby to clean up auto exhaust? There must be a way!

  • Scott Bortz says:

    I have been a runner for forty years, with a very healthy heart. I moved into a new (built in 52) house, and all was well. Then in the fall, when I turned on the heat, I started getting mild headaches ( I never get headaches). I thought Carbon Monoxide, and bought a detector – not a trace. I ran all summer with no problem. Then in November, one month after turning on the heat, I started getting funny heartbeats. i thought it was my age (60), but by summer it just went away. Each year since, it has gotten worse, always about a month into heating season. I have had the chimney cleaned, I have had the heater inspected, etc. but this winter it was the worst. sometimes I couldn’t even walk fast. Now (May) that I have turned the heater off, it is subsiding again.
    I now think it may be mold in the metal ducts that dries and blows around after the heater is on. During the summer, the air conditioner uses the same ducts, and there is no problem.
    We are thinking of installing filters on the exhaust (2 micron) to stop the mold from blowing around.
    Also my wife has asthma, and it flares up at the same period, after the heat is on for a while.
    What do you think?

  • Nancy says:

    I too have been wondering about allergies and Afib. I’ve had an ablation which didn’t work for long. I’ve always been an “allergic person” and noticed when I took Claratin and forgot to take my meds I had no Afib. I have not idea what chemical or whatever may cause it but will start keeping a record and that way may be able to pinpoint what is causing it. Thanks for your input.

  • Jpat says:

    In late June of this year, I went to the ER with atrial flutter. It was unquestionably triggered by my using a mower to cut some weeds in a dusty field. The mower was kicking up a lot of dust and I apparently overwhelmed my system. The ER docs were only concerned with getting me back into sinus rhythm, not the actual trigger – which I guess is their job.

    More recently, I have noticed arrythmias during sleep, possibly A-fib, most likely the result of fall allergies. I have been cutting hay and burning weeds. While I have not overwhelmed my body’s ability to handle the allergens, I am fairly sure my night time arrythmias are the result of seasonal allergies. I sleep with a CPAP machine, so my nighttime air is both filtered and humidified.

  • Jpat says:

    Mellanie,
    Since your blog seems to point to a link between A-fib and allergies, perhaps one of the pharmaceutical companies would like to conduct a study to determine if their product (Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, etc.) might show a clear relationship and also possibly help users to preventi A-fib during peak allergy times. Maybe national associations like asthma, allergy or even heart would consider something similar to firmly establish the link so doctors would recognize the risk and warn their patients accordingly.

  • Kelly Jamison says:

    Please take note of what you eat! I almost ALWAYS have A-Fib-palpations when I eat crackers, certain breads, canned foods, and such. I cannot drink diet pops that will send my heart in a flutter! Inflammation I do believe, electolyte imbalances, some of us our very sensitive and have to take preventive measures. Its hard to eat without any preservatives and chemicals in our foods..they are everywhere! We spend billions of dollars on cancer research every year…the answer is right in front of us, but they make too much money off drugs/chemicals to cure disease…..

  • Dallas Filby says:

    I have been a runner for 35 years and always very healthy. However, in the area of Australia where I live, over the last 10 years, the Government has seen fit to try to reduce bushfire risk by burning off very large areas of native bushland over a three month period every year. Now we all know and hear how bad smoking is for our health and even passive smoking too with bans for it in many places now.

    Yet, for three months of the year my environment can be filled with toxic bushfire smoke with no way to escape from it – day or night. It can go on for days and weeks sometimes as they choose the most stable time of the year to burn off when there is no wind or rain.

    I’ve always been particularly sensitive to this smoke, and its made me feel nauseous and caused my lungs to burn and after a few days causing high levels of anxiety and stress. Worse though it brought on my first bouts of A-Fib.

    The Government health warnings tell the general population to implement our asthma management plans during burn-off if we have breathing problems yet that just shows how ignorant they are to the many other health issues caused by this level of persistent smoke.

    I was initially told I had asthma when i presented to the doctor and hospital with breathing problems and sore lungs from smoke. Yet it took 8 years to finally get an ECG and diagnose A-Fib as I kept being sent away with an asthma inhaler. Luckily I don’t have problems with A-Fib when the air is clean, but now I have to travel inter-state during burn-off season due to my health and this is very expensive. I’d like some way of being able to filter my home from this level of smoke, but I have yet to find a solution.

    I wonder how many others are suffering similar health problems due to some form of smoke – either from passive smoke in the home or from bushfires or burning off etc. I think it’s an area that hasn’t had enough studies done, the attitude currently being that if you cough when there’s smoke, then you get handed an asthma inhaler with no more questions.

    • Mellanie says:

      Dallas,

      I am so sorry. As one who is so sensitive to smoke myself, you have my sympathies. We know that smoke from any source is a problem, not just from smoking.

      In the US, we’re fairly stringent about those kinds of things, thanks to our U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and agencies in most states. But that’s not the case everywhere. Here in Texas, we do have problems when the Mexican crops are burned off as their smoke and particulate matter come hundreds of miles across our borders.

      There are masks you can wear. In fact, a company in Canada, Respro (I have no vested interest), makes masks with carbon filters that motorcyclists wear to filter out exhaust and particulate matter. And around the house, we use HEPA air filters (we prefer the ones from Austin Air). Perhaps some of these things could help. Good luck.

      Mellanie

  • Mellanie,

    I have had Atrial Fibrillation twice, about 18 years apart. While not caused by standard air pollution, it was caused by my hair spray. Aqua Net hairspray contains a extremely dangerous substance called Cyclohexylamine, which triggered afib. You might say it was very localized air pollution…
    http://philipjepsen.com/?p=43

  • Tom Thornton says:

    I found out I had AFIB by accident. I was traveling to another state which took about 24 hours and I felt so good I did not stop to rest and drove straight through. The next morning I woke with a Pounding Heart and called the Parmedics. They said I was in A FIB???? I did not know what that was. I fgound out the Stress oif all the driving and no rest was the cause. I have since been put on Meds and doing fine, but I did have a minor attack when I was cutting the grass. I have to belive it was from the Pollen in the Grass and the Air. I started to wear a mask and found I had no more attacks. I forgot one day to wear one and the next day…BAM…an attack. I asked my Cardiologist about it and He said it was possible. So I never do Yard work or anything like that with out a Mask. I have looked abck on my life and noticed that Pollen and Allergies paly a part part in our Health. I have never been one to have Allergy problem until now. At 62 years old I now watch myself and wear a Mask.

  • Michelle says:

    I work in a hospital and just found out that one of the office within our office is filled with mold. In March of 2011 I was hopitalized with AFIB with shortness of breath and I have been hospitalized three times and ED visits since.
    Please assist.

  • I’ve had A-Fib for most of my life. However, not terribly problematic until I reached 50 years old. Before then, just sitting down , taking a few relaxing deep breaths and my heart would stop racing. I was an athlete most of my life. Football seemed to be the sport where I noticed most of the a-fib attacks. Generally occurring after an unusual stretching motion from my arms. A defensive corner back move of changing direction while back peddling .Throwing the elbow quickly back in the direction that you wanted to go. Later in life, it graduated to more serious attacks. Now the cause seemed to be from combinations of stress, lack of sleep, caffeine, and any compromise to my immune system, that is virus or some minor illness. I do live in a community, Missoula, Mt., where an inversion keeps pollutants at high levels, hovering in the city. It therefore is susceptible to smog in the summer as well during fire season. I noticed this year, my incidents of a-fib increased during fire season. Maybe due to my bodies immune system being compromised by fighting the smoke inhalation. I’m Nearly 60, now, and still very active, including running as a choice of exercise. However, my a-fib is increasingly frequent and I have scheduled an appointment with the International Heart Institute , St. Patricks Hospital, Msla., Mt.. I hope this helps.

  • Dallas says:

    I have found my main triggers for A-Fib are air pollutants. I have no problems with coffee or alcohol provided they are in small quantities – ie a cup or two of coffee per day and 1 standard drink of alcohol. I’m 49 and also run and swim and find that helps provided the air is clean at the time I exercise.

    The worst air pollutant for me is bushfire smoke or smoke from when the Government runs it’s annual fuel reduction burns in the local forests here in Australia. This has had me in hospital. The other air pollutants are dust and pollens during spring and also preceding any large thunderstorm as it drags up particles from all the wheat and canola crops in the area. Often it starts off as either hayfever or asthma and then progresses to A-Fib a day or two later if the pollution is still present.

  • janetrosemarie says:

    I’ve had A-Fib since large doses of Vioxx for an inflamed knee 11 years ago.  I certainly feel like the canary in the coal mine and have come to realize that it is very unique to each individual.
    Recently I have added to my list of triggers the air quality.  This usually happens whenever entering a small cabin or shed that has some mold issues.  I have also seen that even a small beer or wine isn’t a good idea for me and would love to find an alchoholic drink that doesn’t trigger…wonder about the processes of making wine and beer….allergens a definite issue.  Stress is a biggy (the shock or surprise moments are not easy).  I always feel good when around good fresh air and lots of trees or wide open spaces.  So hard to figure it all out…so glad to have seen a great internist when first happening and did a game plan (because of no high blood pressure or heart disease) when I land in a-fib I take an anti-anxiety med…go to bed and give myself 10-12 hrs to convert (depending on severity and no signs of stroke) ..if not..get help.  works pretty good.  It is a constant awareness and interesting investigation after having each one.  I was staying somewhere in Nov. Dec. where the oil furnace was malfunctioning without knowing it….bad air coming into the older farm home..I started having a-fibs a few times a week before we figured it out.
     
    What a journey…
     
     

  • Cathy Wilson says:

    I have had some problems in the past with a heart flutter to the point that it would take my breath for a moment. Every time I was tested (not wearing a monitor) by EKG only 2 or 3 times it was  irregular. I didn’t have insurance at the time and they would send me home. 
    For the past 6 months there has been a serious sewage problem on top of the ground beside  my camper on my lot. I wasn’t here Jan, Feb, and March. after returning here for the summer I complained to the campgrounds new owners and nothing was done. I began having serious episodes with the heart palpitations and dizziness. Last week I actually passed out. Even with an air purifier big enough for a 1400 square foot house running you could still smell the sewage smell in my camper , cloths and bed linen. When I passed out my neighbor called the EMS. I had come around by the time they got there and my heart straightened out when they got me in the EMS ambulance. The attendants were actually gagging at the stink and the first responders from the fire dept on the scene reported possible methane gas poisoning. The attending doctor said in the beginning that the sewage was probably the culprit and when I got the fresh air in the ambulance the heart straightened out until he realized where I lived in the campground. The owner is a friend of his. Then he changed his mind and talked to me like a dog. The fire dept said they were bound by law to report this to the local health dept and wanted to know why I hadn’t reported it. Every one here is disabled and we were afraid we would have to move, The doctor said he ordered a monitor for me to wear at home and for me to pick it up at the hospital the next day. This is a week later and they are still saying at the cardiology dept where he sent me , they don’t have the order or they don’t have the monitor I need and they would send me one in the mail,. 
    They finally somewhat fixed the sewage problem two days ago and I think the doctor is postponing the monitor on purpose to keep the landlord from getting into trouble. Since they smell is not so bad my heart has only had a few episodes not real bad. I;m waiting for an appointment with another doctor and the monitor that I have no idea what to do with to come in the mail. This is a much more detailed story and totally unbelievable but you get the gist of it. The owner is blaming me for calling the authorities and I did not the fire dept did, and I have been so upset that my heart gets all whacky. I could write a book on this story about the cover up in this county from the Health inspector who is friends with the owner, to the doctor, that is the same. I don’t know what to do. I can’t afford to move all I have here and don’t know where to turn. Anyone know some state or federal agency that might not be on the take that could help? 

    • mellanie says:

       @Cathy Wilson 
      I’m sorry about what you’ve been through. The county public health department generally has jurisdiction, but if they are no help, then perhaps the state agency responsible for health services can help. (In Texas, that is the Texas Department of State Health Services, at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/default.shtm; most states have something similar, which you should be able to find by Googling.)
       
      Most likely there is no reason that this would come under federal jurisdiction (generally requires something that crosses state lines for it to fall within federal jurisdiction.)
       
      Good luck.
       
      Mellanie 

  • rhoads501 says:

    Triggers for my Lone Fib are unusual in nature as I have looked for information on my particular triggers without any info.  My A-Fib kicks in when I get whiffs of diesel, fragrance, spices, red food.  For instance I love peaches and was eating them this summer but when the type of peach available changed to the ones with the redness around the seed it caused my A-Fib.  However, I can eat strawberries.  I can’t be around petroleum products.  Is there anyone out there with same or similar experiences?   

    • mmoss says:

      Hello,
      Spicy foods could be common triggers, but the coloring of food as a trigger is a new idea to me. While I’m new to the idea that pigmentation could affect afib, it seems there could be links with cells that synthesize pigment and afib (http://bit.ly/OkXkWb) that researches may already be looking into. I am also curious if others have had similar experiences with foods of certain colors.

      [email protected]

    • mellanie says:

       @rhoads501 , I don’t know what the red around the seeds would be about – is it possible that it’s pesticides on the peaches that triggered your afib? Peaches are one of the fruits most affected by pesticides. It would be interesting to try organic peaches with red around the seeds to see if that triggers it.
       
      Mellanie

  • Steve O'Brien says:

    In the three years prior to developing AFIB the number of days during which the ozone level exceeded The EPA’s standard was 30. That gave the area ( Fairfield County, CT) a grade of F by the American LUng Association

  • Wanda brock says:

    I noticed after moving back to my home town in Mississippi I have had more episodes of Atrial fib. While living in Texas I only had one episode. I am also experiencing nasal drainage red eyes with itching and burning. Nothing seems to help. My sister has lived in Mississippi all of her life. She has bad atrial fib been converted many times and currently is out of rhythm again. In all fairness a fib runs in my family. Along with bad cardiac history. Being a nurse I became curious if the allergies and the a fib might be connected in some way. Since I’m having more problems moving here I have been away 25 years.

  • Stu says:

    Interesting article and a qustion I raised with my Doctor last week. My AF / Flutter was diagnosed in 2010 and i seem to get an incraese in attacks in spring and Autumn. In spring my hay fever is bad with acute sneezing , cough , watery eyes. My doctor said there could be a link but was unsure. I thought it may have been caused by my Hay Fever medication but I have been assured that Claratyne has no affect on AF or Flutter.

    • Maria Wexler says:

      Five years ago I had a cryo-ablation and a month later moved to South Carolina. I have been virtually symptom free, as in feeling maybe a flutter or two each year. In the last month I have traveled north two times. Within a day each trip my Afib came back full on. I never thought it could be environmental. Cant wait to go back to SC and see if it goes away.

  • Ruth Roberts says:

    I was diagnosed with AF about 13 years ago. I have also had artial flutter, for which I had an ablation and it is ok now. However the AF seems to be getting worse. Meaning, I could go a month or longer with no episodes. Now I have a few episodes every day and they are VERY uncomfortable. The doctor asked me what triggers it. I don’t know. I am trying to figure that out. I know if I don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep it will affect me. If I am unduly stressed..and sometimes after I eat. but other than those things, I really don’t know. I used to be able to excersize every day and walk for an hour, now I can’t, because I will have a strong episode. I have been reading about the pollution and pollens. I don’t think those things bother me. However, I have been using straight amonia for cleaning. Does anyone know if this could be triggering the episodes? I take all the supplements that I have read helps, and I know they have helped in the past, but lately….I don’t know. When I have an episode I have to set down and put my head between my legs as much as possible and that helps my heart go back into rythm. Any suggestions for me? I know there is an alblation for AF but it is more complicated and I don’t know if I want to go that route. Oh…and I am on warfarin.

    • mmoss says:

      Hi Ruth, I’m sorry to hear your afib episodes are becoming more frequent and that they are getting worse. It’s a good idea to keep a record of what may be affecting you, perhaps you or your doctor would be able to see a pattern after a while, but some people choose to not try to figure out each trigger as it can be maddening. Also, some people are sensitive to chemicals, so perhaps the ammonia you use for cleaning may be affecting you. If you would like, you may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum and posing this question there. To get to the StopAfib.org Discussion Forum, go to: http://forum.stopafib.org. To post or ask questions, you’ll need to register. Instructions for registering and getting started are here: http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php?showforum=25.

      Melissa

  • kibrom says:

    Dear Sir/madam
    My heart some time sudden be fasting heartbeat, and also disorder heart breath, that’s temporary from 1 second to 24 hr. waiting, it is starting pre year duration 3- 4 time my doctor said this is atrial fibrillation upper level heart electric disturb and I went different hospital except they said upper level heart electric vibrate that F.A , it is waiting morthan15 years, at the present according my doctor instruction, I always pre day atenolol tablet using 50 mg, but day to day the problem increase again my doctor said me you have to go to hospital and to the highest level but I can’t go to hospital because of I have not Enough money now what can I do? Please support me please told me the way I am Now nearly to dead
    NB -According media Explanation, I understand my problem All Point Kind is paroxysmal. Atrial Fibrillation so I would like for this problem support.

  • kibrom says:

    According my experience my Heart is usdden with out expect happened very
    fast and very tireing again i always taking attelonol tablet thats the situation
    what shalli do.

  • Doug Bartake says:

    I recently spent 2 months in Beijing China. I developed a case of AFIB there as I never had this problem before. I live on the Saskatchewan praries and there is little air pollution. The smog is so bad in Beijing it is now becoming difficult to see 3 city blocks ahead. I can only attribute my AFIB to air pollution at this time. I have looked at all other factors and do not see any correlation. I have never had an episode previous to this. I am 63 years old and was in fairly good health prior to this.

  • Sandra Shoemaker says:

    I am 69 years old, and have had afib for 4 years. I had an ablation when I was 66, but it was not successful at all. My afib is controlled most of the time by diltiazem and flecainide. My known triggers were red wine, dehydration, and prednisone, until today. I can now add paint fumes to the list of triggers. My dentist retired, and the offices were completely repainted, inside and out. I was in there for about an hour and 15 minutes when the afib started. I thought the fumes were very strong, and could smell them even at the time my afib started, so I feel confident that was the trigger. It takes me anywhere from 6 to 12 hours for my afib to self correct. I am not on Coumadin, but do take 2 large aspirins per day. I also took an additional dose of diltiazen and flecainide when the afib began, but it always takes an least 6 hours to self correct.

  • morton osborne says:

    I have never had any heart issues until the neighbours went ‘organic’ with their pip fruit orchard and then I had atrial fibrillation (initialy extreme racing pulse 200+ at rest then fibrillation). This is reliably triggered by lime sulfur sprays (CaSOx) i.e. every time this is sprayed which can be as much as four times a week in season.
    This converts to calcium hydroxide, SO2, H2S and H2SO3/4. So it also burns the eyes and throat. A similar effect has been experienced by five neighbours albeit they don’t attribute it to the same cause although they are not in a position of knowing when spraying occurs & not olfactorily very sensitive- one has has 3x catheter ablations & on last got pe’s in the lung and ectopic beats so is in pretty poor shape.
    Is this condition/effect common with orchardists and viticulturalists?
    Given it is caused by specific chemicals, is it possible to neutralise these? Wearing a respirator when hydrogen sulfide abounds minimises the effect.
    Does ablation neutralise causal factors? That my neighbour has ectopic beats again, it would possibly suggest not.
    Medications have had only a deleterious effect.
    Suggestions?
    Answers?
    I am on the list for ablation but really need to be clear as to outcome before subjecting myself to greater & possibly futile additional risk.
    A response to email address would be good so can revisit the site – thanks.

    • mmoss says:

      Hi there, your story certainly is interesting. I am not sure we have heard similar stories with other orchards, but that doesn’t mean others haven’t experienced the same. You may be interested in joining the conversation over on our StopAfib.org Discussion Forum. To post or ask questions, you’ll need to register. Instructions for registering and getting started are here. Perhaps others there have stories to share.

      Melissa

  • Trina Miles says:

    I have had episodes of a-fib since 2006 and been hospitalized many times because of it. I have found out that alcohol and prednisone are sure triggers for me. Also electrolyte imbalances. But recently I have found my house to have mold and am in the process of having the degree of the mold tested now. Just from my past experiences, for example after cleaning house and mold and mildew from my tubs, that I almost always have an episode of a-fib. I am very anxious to see after removing the mold and stopping the exposure if my a-fib will stop as well. It just came on suddenly in 2006. (Another thing I want to mention is the last 4 times I have went into a-fib, I have been able to take a muscle relaxer (Soma) and go to bed and I wake up converted, which is much easier than a night in ICU or cardio converting. I have attributed this to the relaxing of the heart muscle. Maybe I shouldn’t take that chance but in 2012 I was in ICU six times, which can get quite expensive.)

    50 year old female
    High blood pressure
    thyroid nodules
    perimenopause

  • Jenni Miller says:

    Hi, I drive service buses in the UK. Every time someone lets off an aerosol or deodorant spray I get Afib the same night. It overrides my medication and I have to take time off work for the next day because I’m unfit for work. I presume there is some chemical that my body absorbs that triggers the condition off. It takes a day and a half to recover.

  • Mary Lou says:

    Is there any research showing mold toxicity can cause afib? Having had trouble breathing since July myself with no obvious causes and my husband ending up in the ER with afib and a cardioversion to correct it in August, led me to mold research. I found out that we have been exposed to mold continuously for the past 24 years. Two different apartments with leaky bedroom windows and mold growth on the backs of our bedroom furniture which we have been moving from place to place seem to be the culprit. Thanks for any info or links.

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Mary Lou,

      Thank you for sharing your story and your concern with a possible correlation between mold toxicity and afib. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum (http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php?) to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience. Best of luck to you!

    • Jeanne Phin says:

      I was exposed to black slimy mold at work stachybotrys since then diagnosed with afib, had a heart attack, chronic fatigue, anxiety, low grade depression. Brain fog mold exposure is extremely dangerous I have not received correct treatment yet.

  • John says:

    I work at the same place for 18 years now me and five fellow co-workers all have AFib we’re all different ages and not related we used a lot of muriatic acid to acid wash the bottom of boats is there a possibility that harsh chemicals can cause A-fib thank you

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for sharing your afib story and your concerns regarding the relationship between your afib and harsh chemicals. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum (http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php) to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story and questions there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions, and hope. There are many resources on living with afib that you might find helpful. Best of luck to you! We wish you sinus rhythm.

  • Reinhart says:

    Had afib since 2009. Triggers are all excersize-related. Latest is air pollution…last 2 times on a light run, we ran under a bridge under massive upgrade construction…800 meters after passing under that bridge, afib started…had to stop as I just could not breath…very scary!!!

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Reinhart,

      Thank you for sharing your afib story and your symptoms. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum (http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php) to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story and experience there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience.

      You’ll need to join to see and participate in the discussion. To do so, go to forum.stopafib.org, and click on the big red button that says, “Sign Up”. Once you sign up by registering your email address, your preferred username, and a password, you’ll receive an email to confirm your interest in joining the forum. Click on the confirmation link in that email, and you are ready to go. You’ll be able to log into the forum, read the discussions, and participate. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions, and hope.

      You can view a how-to video here: http://getinrhythm.com/how-to-register-on-forum
      There are many resources on living with afib that you might find helpful.

      For more information on afib and afib management, we have many resources available to you.
      • News Stories on afib http://www.stopafib.org/news.cfm
      • Patient Resources at MyAfibExperience.org
      • Afib Blog
      • Video Presentations from the 2015 Atrial Fibrillation Patient Event

      Best of luck to you! We wish you sinus rhythm.

  • Jeanne Phin says:

    I was exposed to black slimy mold at work, I now have afib and have had a current heart attack. The black slimy mold I was subjected to is the kind people have to leave their homes permanently. I have been exhausted, brain fog, difficulty breathing, current diagnosis for sleep apnea, anxiety, low grade depression, I stopped breathing on day after work from the exposure to mold, hope this helps someone.

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Jeanne,
      I’m so sorry that you were subject to this black mold at your workplace. Thank you for sharing your afib story. If you’d like, see below where I responded to Judith and you’ll see the link to our forum, where you can continue to share your afib experience and connect with other patients. You might be able to help someone, and receive help in return. Wishing you new health in the new year.

  • Sue Moyer says:

    This is crazy stuff! Thanx for all your posts! I have Afib continuous every single day since I had open heart surgery 3 yrs. ago. Dozens of times a day and night. Is really increasing. I found all of my windows of my apt. are leaking and have black mold. I cleaned several wks. ago but cannot keep up with it. Will my landlord have to have it all professionally cleaned? He plans to replace all windows this summer. Help give me some suggestions. Move? Wait? I have Chemical emphysema also and Sjogrens + a few other things. I try to hang in there but there is a limit. I weigh 95 lbs. and cannot gain weight. Maybe this is the reason I cannot get better.

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Sue,

      I am sorry to hear about your issue with black mold. Perhaps you can reach out to other afib patients for advice on how to proceed. You can find our forum here: http://forum.stopafib.org/

      And please see below, in my answer to Sharon’s post, for more information about how to register and participate in the discussion. I think that you might find it very helpful to connect with others.

      We wish you the best of luck, and sinus rhythm.

  • Shunder says:

    I was exposed to gasoline fumes for at least 15 hours and it triggered my afib. It was out of control for a week. I was exhausted and lighted headed to the point that I could hardly stand. I also find now that climbing stairs and bending over to pick up something triggers an attack. I wonder if the chemical exposure will have a long term affect on my existing afib? I also suffer with high blood pressure and it also stayed elevated for 2 weeks before I was able to get it under control.

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Shunder,

      So sorry to hear about your bad experience with gasoline fumes and how it triggered your afib and seems to be causing lasting side effects. I would suggest joining our patient forum so that you can connect with others. It is located at http://forum.stopafib.org/. There you can talk with other patients who have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story and questions there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience.

      You’ll need to join to see and participate in the discussion. To do so, go to forum.stopafib.org, and click on the big red button that says, “Sign Up”. Once you sign up by registering your email address, your preferred username, and a password, you’ll receive an email to confirm your interest in joining the forum. Click on the confirmation link in that email, and you are ready to go. You’ll be able to log into the forum, read the discussions, and participate. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions, and hope.

      You can find additional instructions here: https://www.stopafib.org/newsitem.cfm/NEWSID/623

      Good luck, and we wish you sinus rhythm!

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