Got other questions on Sinus Arrhythmia or Afib? See the Qaly guides on Sinus Arrhythmia and Afib:
- What Sinus Arrhythmia Looks Like on Your ECG
- What Afib Looks Like on Your ECG
- How to Read an ECG: Stanford Cardiologist Explains
- The Ultimate Cardiologist's Guide to the Smartwatch ECG
With an ECG on your wrist, it's now possible to self-monitor abnormal heart rhythms in real-time like atrial fibrillation and sinus arrhythmia. The ECG on your wrist can be difficult to decipher, though, and you may be wondering “what’s the difference between arrhythmia vs afib or sinus arrhythmia vs afib?” Let’s dive in.
What’s Sinus Arrhythmia?
Sinus arrhythmia is a type of normal variation in heart rhythm that's often more pronounced in young, healthy people. It’s characterized by a heart rate that increases when you breathe in and decreases when you breathe out.
On an ECG, sinus arrhythmia appears as a regular variation in the “RR interval,” which is the time between each heartbeat, so long as it is accompanied by uniform and upright P waves. Here’s more on what sinus arrhythmia looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s Atrial Fibrillation (Afib)?
Atrial fibrillation, often referred to as afib, is a form of irregular heart rhythm, often characterized by a rapid, irregular beating of the atria.
On an ECG, atrial fibrillation is represented by a lack of distinct P waves and an irregularly irregular RR interval. Here’s more on what Afib looks like on your watch ECG.
What’s the Difference Between Sinus Arrhythmia and Atrial Fibrillation?
When comparing sinus arrhythmia vs afib, it's important to note that sinus arrhythmia is usually a normal physiological phenomenon, especially in children and young adults. On the other hand, atrial fibrillation is typically an abnormal heart rhythm, often linked with conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, and coronary artery disease.
Both rhythms can vary significantly in their impact on health. While sinus arrhythmia doesn't usually pose a health risk, atrial fibrillation, if left untreated, could lead to serious health complications like stroke and heart failure.
To sum up, understanding the difference between afib vs sinus arrhythmia can help you better leverage your watch ECG to manage your heart health. Stay informed, stay proactive, and stay heart healthy!
Still Not Sure if It’s Sinus Arrhythmia or Afib on Your ECG?
Differentiating between sinus arrhythmia vs Afib on your ECG can be tricky. If you’re still looking for help interpreting your ECG further, check out the Qaly app on App Store or Play Store. On Qaly, human experts will interpret your ECGs within minutes, day or night. Try out the Qaly app for free today!