People with severe AV block may be distressed by symptoms like difficulty breathing or weakness, as well as worrying about fainting and life-threatening consequences.
But treatment with a pacemaker affects your daily life too: You have to go for regular check-ups, and you always have to carry your pacemaker ID card on you. Some people are bothered by the fact that the pacemaker can be seen under the skin on their chest.
At first, many people with a pacemaker are worried about breaking it when they move, so they're very careful. These fears are sometimes fueled by friends and family.
Problems in everyday life are generally quite rare, though, and most people get used to their pacemaker after some time. It helps if the pacemaker can detect when you’re doing strenuous activities. Like a healthy sinus node, the pacemaker then sends signals at a faster pace, which allows you to do physically strenuous jobs, sports and hobbies. Driving is usually no problem either. Flying with a pacemaker is possible too, but it’s important to tell airport security about the pacemaker. Some people don't feel comfortable doing that.
Pacemakers can be disturbed by nearby electronic and magnetic devices. But problems can be avoided by keeping a safe distance of 30 centimeters to electronic devices. For cell phones, 15 to 20 centimeters are enough. You can keep that distance by simply holding the phone to the ear on the side of the body away from the pacemaker. For some equipment, like induction stoves, a larger distance may be needed. Some body fat scales can be used by people with pacemakers. It is important to check the instructions to be sure.
The pacemaker has to be taken into consideration in some medical examinations too. A typical example is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). But there are now many pacemaker devices that allow you to have an MRI scan, after making certain preparations.