Holter monitoring makes use of medical gadgets which document the heart's electrical activity. Doctors usually utilize these monitors to identify arrhythmias. Holter and event monitors are also used to diagnose silent myocardial ischemia. With this condition, not enough oxygen-rich blood gets to the heart muscle.
Holter monitors are often referred to as continuous EKGs (electrocardiograms). This is because Holter monitors document the heart rhythm constantly for 24 to 48 hours.
A Holter monitor is about the height and width of a large pack of cards. You are able to clip it to a belt or carry it in your pants pocket. Wires link the device to sensors (known as electrodes) which are stuck to your chest using sticky pads. These sensors pick up your heart's electrical signals, and the monitor reports your heart's rhythm.
Who Needs Holter Monitoring?
You might need a Holter or event monitor if your doctor thinks you have an arrhythmia. This can be a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat. Holter or event monitors are generally used to identify arrhythmias in people who have:
- Fainted or often feel dizzy. A monitor can be utilized if causes other than a heart rhythm problem are already ruled out.
- Palpitations that happen again without any known cause. Palpitations are the feeling that your heart is thumping, racing, fluttering, or beating unevenly.
Those who are receiving treatment for a heart rhythm problem may also want to use a Holter or event monitor. These monitors can easily indicate how treatment is working.
Your experience when using a Holter or event monitor will depend on the kind of monitor you've got.
What Do Holter Monitors Do?
Just about all Halter monitors document the heart’s electrical activity. So, it’s vital that you keep a clear signal between your sensors (electrodes) and also the recording system. Generally, the sensors are connected to your chest with sticky pads. Wires link the sensors to the monitor. You generally can clip the monitor to your belt or carry it inside your pocket.
A great stick between your pads and your skin helps supply a clear signal. Bad contact leads to a poor recording, which can be difficult for your doctor to read. Oil, an excessive amount of sweat, and hair might keep the pads from sticking to your skin. You may have to shave the region where your physician will attach each patch. You will have to clean the area using a special prep pad that your physician provides.