- Posted on: Mar 15 2019
When our Hunterdon Cardiovascular patients have been shown to have issues with their heart rhythm, we often use what is called a Holter monitor to provide more information on their condition.
Here’s some more information on these devices.
What is a Holter monitor?
Only about the size of a pack of cards, Holter monitors are small, wearable devices that keep track of your heart’s rhythm over time. These monitors continuously monitor and record your rhythm and the electrical activity of your heart. Usually our team will request a patient wear a Holter monitor if other tests have been inconclusive. This happens due to their short duration, which may not catch the patient’s heart when it goes out of rhythm. Holter monitors are usually worn for 24 to 48 hours.
What does a Holter monitor test for?
We will first use an electrocardiogram to measure a patient’s heart rhythm, but their results sometimes aren’t conclusive. When a patient wears a Holter monitor for one to two days, it’s more likely it will capture a period of heart activity where the irregular activity occurs.
What happens when you’re wearing a Holter monitor?
Using a Holter monitor is easy. It’s completely non-invasive and there isn’t any pain. Electrode patches are attached to your chest and they are attached to the monitor, which can be worn hanging around your neck or attached to your belt. Once you start the test, the monitor must be worn continuously, even while you sleep.
When you’re wearing the Holter monitor for your test, you proceed about your normal activities. The duration of the test will depend on your condition and how frequently you experience these symptoms that could be traced to a heart rhythm problem.
At the same time that you are wearing the monitor, you’ll also keep a diary of your daily activities. You’ll write down what you’re doing and at exactly what time. For instance, “Took walk from 6:05 to 7:00 p.m.” You’ll record any symptoms such as chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or skipped heartbeats. This way our Hunterdon Cardiology team can compare events in your diary with the results of the monitor at the corresponding time.
At the end of your usual one or two day test period, you’ll give us back the monitor and we’ll download your results. Then we’ll discuss what we find with you.
Do you feel as if you sometimes have an irregular heart rhythm? Call the team at Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, (908) 788-1710, and let’s check it out.
Posted in: Holter Monitor