We want to start this blog with two important statistics about heart health in the United States. First, nearly half of adults in our country — about 48% — have cardiovascular disease. Second, about 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable.
Our heart health experts here at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates want to focus on the second, more optimistic, statistic about prevention. One of the keys to preventive heart health care is to understand what you're up against. To that end, we have a number of excellent diagnostic tools, and a Holter monitor certainly ranks near the top in terms of importance.
Here, we take a look at how a Holter monitor can play a valuable role in managing your heart health.
What we measure with a Holter monitor
Your heart works off of electricity, and one of the best ways to evaluate your heart’s function is to take a look at the electrical activity in the organ. In our offices, we do this with an electrocardiogram (ECG), which is a device that records the electrical signals through small electrodes that we stick to your body.
While an EKG can give us a quick look at the electrical activity in your heart, it’s only a brief glimpse while you’re in the office.
A Holter monitor, which is essentially a portable EKG, allows us to record the electrical activity of your heart over the course of 24-48 hours. This means we can take measurements while you go about your normal business, whether it’s sleeping or going for a walk with your dog.
This real-life measurement of your heart’s electrical activity allows us to get a much broader sense of how your heart functions throughout the day.
How a Holter monitor can help us
As you can imagine, there are a number of reasons why we routinely turn to a Holter monitor.
For example, if you’re experiencing heart palpitations, we can use a Hotler monitor to assess whether an arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, may be present. Or, perhaps you’re experiencing dizziness. With a Hotler monitor, we can see whether this symptom is heart-related.
A Holter monitor is also a great tool for assessing how well a treatment is working. Perhaps we’ve installed a pacemaker and we want to make sure it’s doing its job well. Or, maybe we’ve performed a procedure to correct an arrhythmia, such as a cardioversion, in which case we might use a Holter monitor afterward to evaluate the improvement.
Whether we’re using a Hotler monitor as a diagnostic or follow-up tool, this portable EKG delivers valuable information that can help us safeguard your cardiovascular health.
If you have more questions about a Holter monitor, we invite you to book an appointment online or over the phone with South Shore Cardiovascular Associates today. We have offices in Brandon, Riverview, Tampa, and Sun City Center, Florida.