A MAN who dismissed symptoms of dizziness and heart flutters said his Apple watch saved his life after alerting him to a heart condition.
Before going to the hospital on February 22, Adam Croft, 36, didn't think his symptoms were anything serious.
The writer had felt little heart flutters a few months before and been light headed.
But Adam just thought he might be coming down with something, he said.
Then one evening, he felt dizzy getting up from his sofa and went to the kitchen to get some water.
By the time he got to the kitchen, he "felt the world closing in".
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"I managed to get down on the floor and ended up in a pool of cold sweat," Adam recalled.
Again, Adam said he didn't think too much of it and went to sleep.
When he woke up the next morning, he saw his Apple watch had been notifying him every couple hours to seek medical advice, as his heart was in atrial fibrillation.
This is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate – it happens when the top two chambers of your heart (the atria) fire chaotically instead of being steady, causing them quiver.
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Atrial fibrillation is the most common kind heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 1.4 million people in the UK, according to the NHS.
It can affect adults of any age, but it's more common in older people.
Adam immediately called 111 and was told to go to hospital within one hour.
Bedford Hospital arranged two electrocardiograms (ECGs) when he got there.
He told The Sun: "I was officially diagnosed very quickly – within an hour or so of arriving at the hospital."
Adam said he was taking blood thinners until he undergoes a cardioversion procedure, a treatment that uses quick, low-energy shocks to restore a regular heart rhythm.
"I’m not sure when the cardioversion will happen yet," he said.
"It’s provisionally booked for a few weeks’ time, but they need to catch the heart in atrial fibrillation, and it’s unlikely to spontaneously occur that day."
In the meantime, he's been told to take it easy.
"I’ve been working on my next book and trying to keep away from stressful situations, which has been working well so far."
He said he'd been feeling pretty tired over the last few weeks but doing well.
"It is something that will get worse and will happen more and more over time so it's a case of keeping my stress levels down and looking after myself," he said.
His Apple watch will be staying on, he added.
Adam told The Sun that anyone experiencing similar symptoms should seek help.
He said: "My advice for anyone else who’s worried is to call 111.
"They won’t be annoyed that you’ve called, and you definitely won’t look or feel silly.
"You’ll look a lot sillier if you ignore a serious health condition and don’t catch it in time."
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Adam is not the first person to report being saved by their smart watch.
But studies have shown that smart watches can be dangerous to people if they've had a pacemaker installed.
What are the symptoms of atrial fibrillation?
You might feel an irregular and sometimes fast, heartbeat or pulse, even if you’re not exercising.
Some people say it feels like their heart is fluttering or racing (known as palpitations), according to the British Heart Foundation.
Other symptoms can include:
- chest pain
- finding it harder to exercise
- shortness of breath
- dizziness or feeling faint.
Atrial fibrillation can last for minutes or hours or it can be persistent, even permanent.
The NHS notes that sometimes atrial fibrillation does not cause any symptoms and a person who has it is completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular.
But you should see a GP if:
- you have chest pain that comes and goes
- you have chest pain that goes away quickly but you're still worried
- you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat
- your heart rate is consistently lower than 60 or above 100 (particularly if you're experiencing other symptoms of atrial fibrillation, such as dizziness and shortness of breath)
And call 999 if you have sudden chest pain.
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