Holter monitoring continuously records your heartbeat during the day, which is a surefire way to detect irregular heartbeats that occasionally occur or only develop when you’re active. The experienced physicians at Cardiac Care Consultants perform a range of diagnostic tests, including electrocardiograms, but abnormal heart rhythms don’t always cooperate and appear while you’re in the office. To learn more about Holter monitoring, call the office in Peoria, Sun City West, or Wickenburg, Arizona, or book an appointment online today.
A Holter monitor is a small device that continuously records your heart’s electrical activity. When your provider recommends Holter monitoring, also called an ambulatory electrocardiogram (EKG), they can track changes in your heartbeat and diagnose heart rhythm disorders.
Your provider places self-adhesive electrodes on your chest and uses wires to connect them to the Holter monitor. Then you wear the device around your waist or neck or carry it in your pocket. The electrodes pick up electrical activity and send it to the monitor, which records your EKG.
Some Holter monitors send the information wirelessly to your provider. That has the advantage of providing real-time information, allowing them to alert you if a dangerous arrhythmia occurs. Other monitors store the information, and your provider downloads it when you return the device.
When you have symptoms that suggest a heart rhythm problem, such as chest pain, heart palpitations, dizziness, and shortness of breath, Cardiac Care Consultants performs an EKG in the office.
However, an in-office EKG only captures your heart’s electrical activity for a few minutes. A fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat may not show up during that time. Your provider then recommends a Holter monitor so they can get a recording of any arrhythmias that occur as you go throughout daily life.
If you’re already on medication for a heart arrhythmia, or you have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, you may need to wear a Holter monitor to evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment.
Your provider sets up your Holter monitor during an office visit. Then you only need to wear the device for the prescribed amount of time, usually 24-48 hours.
Cardiac Care Consultants may ask you to write down notes about your activities, symptoms you may experience, and when they occur. Then they can compare the results of your ambulatory EKG to your experience.
You can participate in most normal activities, but you do have guidelines to follow. For example, you can’t get the electrodes or the Holter monitor wet. You also can’t have X-rays while you wear the monitor, and you should not walk through metal detectors.
If you experience heart symptoms or have questions about a Holter monitor, call Cardiac Care Consultants, or schedule an appointment online today.