Once you've been diagnosed with long QT syndrome, several steps can help you avoid serious consequences of the illness. These steps include:
Don't overexert yourself. You don't necessarily have to give up sports if you have long QT syndrome. Your doctor might permit recreational activities as long as you have a buddy along in case you have a fainting episode. In general, people with long QT syndrome should never swim alone.
Strenuous exercise might be dangerous and isn't recommended for some people with long QT syndrome. However, others might have a lower risk of complications and may be able to continue strenuous exercise and even competitive sports. Discuss this issue with your doctor carefully.
- Know your symptoms. Be fully aware of symptoms that can warn you of irregular heart rhythms and decreased blood flow to your brain, such as feeling like you may faint.
Inform other people. Make family, friends, teachers, neighbors and anyone else who has regular contact with you aware of your heart condition. Wear some sort of medical alert identification to notify health care providers of your condition.
In addition, have plans in place in the case of an emergency cardiac event. Urge family members to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) so that they can provide immediate resuscitation if it ever becomes necessary.
In some situations, possession of or rapid access to an automatic external defibrillator (AED) might be appropriate.
- Control startling events as much as possible. Turn down the volume on doorbells and turn off the telephone ringer or your cellphone at night.
- Visit your doctor. Your cardiologist will likely recommend that you have regular follow-up appointments with him or her. Let your doctor know if you have symptoms of long QT syndrome or any changes in your condition. Your doctor may make changes to your treatment plan or suggest additional treatments for you.
Sexual intercourse doesn't appear to increase the risk of long QT syndrome. Pregnancy and delivery aren't associated with an increased risk of symptoms in women with long QT syndrome.
Still, your doctor will want to monitor you closely both during your pregnancy and after if you have inherited long QT syndrome. Women with long QT syndrome, especially a form called LQT2, are at increased risk during the postpartum period and need careful monitoring.
Oct. 27, 2015
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