Svt caused by air changes

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I've had svt for many years and it used to be caused by postural changes like bending down and reaching up turning over in bed. I've found that over the last few years my svt has increased in frequency and now it is more likely to start after walking in drafty areas or under the air conditioning or when it is windy. For example when boarding a plane if the cold air above head catches it it can start.  If I walk near an open window or outdoors when there is a breeze. I don't see how an ablation could fix this as it doesn't just tend to randomly start there is usually a trigger.  I have so far refused to have an ablation. Has anyone else experienced similar?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    An ablation will repair the conduction in the heart that is causing the SVT. 

    I have had it where I get stressed out and drank too much caffeine or it can start for no reason. 

  • Posted

    Hi Nichola. I don't think I've come across the air change SVT trigger before. I wonder if the trigger could actually be something else that's happening or being experienced at roughly the same time? e.g. the stress of flying...or you worrying that an air change will trigger SVT?

    My common SVT triggers were caffeine (even decaff) until I realised, sudden bending movements, and mental or emotional stress (usually delayed). Most commonly though, especially as the years went by and I got good at avoiding the triggers, was no trigger at all I could identify e.g. just sitting relaxing.


    As Linda mentioned, the ablation usually doesn't really care what your triggers or symptoms are. If successful, it corrects a tissue abnormality (we SVT folk are usually born with I think) that creates electrical confusion and causes the heart to go mad. 

    I only wish I had had the ablation years earlier because being SVT-free has improved my quality of life immensely...

    I hope you make the right decision for you and that it works out well. wink

  • Posted

    I was told by my cardiologist it is a misfiring of the electrical system in the heart. It doesn't mean you have a bad heart and it's not life threatening, it just makes you feel really bad.

    He said its like when you go into a room and you turn on a light and it doesn't work. Hard to accept, but that's the way it is. Caffeine stimulates the heart and he also said stress may bring it on, but we all have stress, don't we? I have had it last anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. It comes on suddenly and leaves just as suddenly. When I was in choir, I Kyle feel faint and heart racing- doctor thought maybe it was being under hot lights but still didn't call it SVT. Was at a restaurant, food had just came and suddenly my heart was racing and my abdomen became very distended. Went to ER. Doctors have been very perplexed with me. I thought it might be annirritated vagal nerve? Even though I'm a nurse, I still don't have all the answers. 

  • Posted

    From what my doctors all told me, it's not really anything that can trigger your svt. It just happens. If we get them frequently (the attacks) and notice a pattern then of course we are going to try to avoid doing whatever we think causes it. But I would avoid certain movements thinking it would prevent an attack and I would still have an episode. It's all so confusing because it comes out of nowhere. I just recently had my abalation done on Tuesday and I already feel a huge difference with my heart beats. I used to get a lot of extra beats through out the day and now I don't. I did notice some last night but they were way milder than what they used to be. I hear it will all subside once the heart is fully healed. 

    • Posted

      You are correct in that once the heart heals, the episodes and palpitations should subside. It takes 2-3 months for the heart to heal.

      When I had mine, the doctor told me that the ablation for SVT is 95% effective and it should never come back again, once the heart has been repaired.

      I think that is pretty good odds, if you ask me!

    • Posted

      Hi - Tomorrow  I have a consultation about an ablation. I'm very nervous but I want to stop these and stop all the meds! Thanks for the information.

  • Posted

    Mine is nearly always set off by bending down or stretching up, if an ectopic beat goes off as I do these movements it will start and SVT episode. Sometimes lying or sitting in a certain way will seem to cause me more ectopics and that might set of an SVT, and I did have one happen in my sleep that woke me up - that was the scariest one. I take Altenolol, have done for 10years, and I don't get attacks very often. If I do get one it is usually between 10 and 45 mins until it settles itself. Sometimes the vagus manouver of holding my nose and closing my mouth and bearing down will stop it, but not always.

  • Edited

    I've also had a recent change to my SVT symptoms from WPW. I was diagnosed at age 38 and moved to SoCal at 39. I had all the usual triggers, and after my ablation failed in 2019 at age 39, I just learned how to live with it, and how to get SVT to stop quickly by reclining in my office chair while taking a deep breath and holding it in until my heart clicked back into normal rhythm. Well this year I moved to Tokyo at age 43, and everything seemed normal until the weather started to change and the temperature dropped outside. Before it rarely triggered while I was being active (exercise bike, walking briskly, etc), now it's triggering all the time when I'm out in the cold walking, and it seems like talking while walking makes it worse. The other odd thing is now my pulse feels like it drops to a super slow rate (45 bpm on the IWatch) instead of super fast, and I went from being able to drink 2-3 alcohol beverages sometimes, to having this new thing trigger on one drink. my Doc says it's probably PVCs or PACs making my BPMs feel slower than they actually are, and that it's still the SVT from WPW, but this feels very different. like an air bubble is trapped in my chest, slightly dizzy, weakness in arms, and this one is very hard to make go away. I can stop it for a little bit by reclining, but when I try to get back up it can easily trigger again, and keep doing that until I go to bed. I'm nervous that it might be early stages of AFib, but my doctors seem so sure it's just normal WPW, but for some reason they admitted my heart is a little weak now, and they've never given me a holter monitor to wear and my heart always behaves perfectly for ECGs, lol. So anyway, sorry for the novel, but I'm also wondering if the cold air is a problem for SVT or is it AFib, which I did read is affected by the cold air. Curious to see if you figured anything out on that over the years?

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