Living with a pacemaker is a life-altering experience. Its presence ensures your heart beats at the right rhythm all the time. However, you must know about certain restrictions that tag along with its use and take all the precautionary measures instructed by your cardiologist to maintain its optimal functionality. Let’s take a detailed look at 11 things you can’t do while having a pacemaker inside.
11 Things You Can’t Do with a Pacemaker
Many myths surround precautions, which can be confusing. The good news is that we have compiled a comprehensive list of DON’Ts that can greatly help.
1. Use Cellular Phones
It may come as a shock, but modern home appliances such as microwave ovens are generally safe for pacemaker users. However, one must be cautious with cellular phones, which are always with us. Keep your phone at least 6 inches away from the pacemaker to avoid any hindrance to its function.
2. Play with Magnets
Just like phones, magnets can disrupt a pacemaker’s function if they come near. The best distance is more than 6 inches to prevent any issues.
3. Stand under Anti-Theft Detectors
You are very well aware of the anti-theft detectors in the stores. They emit electromagnetic signals when you pass through them. While they are generally considered safe, avoid stopping while walking through them to prevent momentary interference with your pacemaker. Keep moving, and you will experience no problems.
4. Radiation Therapy
Cancer patients who are scheduled for radiation therapy must exercise caution. Radiation is extremely powerful and may damage the circuit of one’s pacemaker. However, if there is no other option, ensure the pacemaker is shielded for protection.
5. Use Arc Welders and Chainsaws
Arc welders and chainsaws are quite strong. Their use may put unnecessary strain on the pacemaker and make it dysfunctional. Therefore, it is advisable to refrain from using these tools and seek professional help for such jobs.
6. Perform Strenuous Activities
While an active lifestyle is highly encouraged, overdoing it is not the best approach, especially for people with heart conditions.
7. Be in Electromagnetic Fields
Pacemakers use electric signals to work; therefore, being close to strong electromagnetic fields can deviate from their function.
8. Use Heavy Machinery
As mentioned earlier, heavy machinery can take a toll on your heart health. The pressure it puts on your heart makes it difficult for the pacemaker to keep up with the irregularities.
9. Lift Heavy Objects
In addition to machinery, lifting heavy objects, like a heavy purse or even pets, should be avoided to ensure the pacemaker’s safety. You can live with petting your buddy at a distance for the time you have this machine inside you.
10. Play Contact Sports
Sports games that involve close physical contact, such as volleyball or basketball, can damage the pacemaker.
11. Touch the Surgical Site
Steer clear from rubbing or touching your chest area around or near the incision site.
Living with a device that helps your heart beat like a pacemaker requires a thoughtful approach to daily activities. By staying well aware of risks and taking necessary precautions, your pacemaker will continue to do its job effectively. At Atrial Fibrillation Centers of America, Dr. Shanti Bansal – board certified in Internal Medicine (2010), Nuclear Cardiology (2011), Cardiology (2011), and Electrophysiology (2013), and the team makes sure to deal with all aspects of your cardio needs. You can consult us at (832) 478-5067 or give us a visit in Houston, TX.