For those aspiring for better health, a lower resting heart rate is typically one of the most common goals. But what happens when your heart starts beating too slowly?

Fatigue, lightheadedness, and confusion are all symptoms of a heart that’s working inefficiently and may be in need of a pacemaker. Used to regulate the rhythm of the heart in both speed and frequency, pacemakers weigh anywhere between 25 to 35 grams and are used in patients with slower heartbeats around 40 or 50 beats per minute or less.

This tiny device can make a huge improvement in your life if your doctor thinks you’re a candidate for the treatment. Here are four things you should know about this life-altering device:

 

1. Pacemakers can improve your quality of life

Since the 1950s, pacemakers have been used to improve the overall quality and longevity of life in many heart patients. According to Livestrong.org, pacemakers even made an impact on mortality, reducing death rates by 22 percent and hospitalizations by 37 percent. Other studies found that pacemaker recipients have reported significantly more energy and overall feel happier in their everyday activities.

 

American Heart Association Training2. Pacemakers can be disrupted by external forces.

Regardless of whether your pacemaker is surgically implanted or an external temporary one, it uses battery-operated power to send electrical impulses to your heart. Patients need to be aware of their surroundings to avoid risk of interference. According to Heart.org, devices like metal detectors and even anti-theft systems at the entrance of businesses can cause disturbances. When near these kinds of technology, it’s important to not linger and move quickly through the detectors or entrances. Headphones too can cause issues and should be kept away from your pacemaker, particularly avoiding being stored in a shirt pocket above your heart.

 

alert_bracelet3. Pacemakers are one of the most common reasons for medical ID jewelry.

When you’re in a scary situation and need medical attention fast, a piece of medical ID jewelry could be a lifesaver. If something were to go wrong with your pacemaker, your bracelet or necklace could help emergency medical personnel know your current heart conditions faster, which leads to quicker life-saving treatments and safer choices for your care. And thanks to the era of online shopping, there are tons of styles to choose from to make this important piece of fashion more fun. Jewelry not your thing? No worries! Heart.org has an easy-to-download card you can fill out to use for identification.

 

Request appointments4. Pacemakers don’t last forever.

Thanks to long-lasting batteries, a pacemaker can last between five to 10 years. However, it is essential to have regular checks to ensure your pacemaker is working properly and being as effective as possible for you to live your best, healthiest life. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System offers high quality cardiovascular services equipped with the staff and technology to help you with your pacemaker needs. Whether you’re about to start your pacemaker journey or you’re looking for ongoing care, you can trust us with your whole heart.