What is a Holter monitor?
There are many ways to measure heart activity. Electrocardiograms are one example; they help your medical team assess your heart function at a specific point in time. If your doctor wants to gain insight into how your heart functions throughout the day, however, you need a different approach.
That’s where a Holter monitor comes in. These battery-operated devices are portable and are around the size of a small camera. A series of small electrodes attach to your skin, and wires connect to the Holter monitor.
Does a Holter monitor deliver an electric shock?
A Holter monitor is strictly a monitoring tool; it does not deliver any type of electrical current to your body. The process of wearing a Holter monitor is painless and carries no risk of side effects.
The monitor is worn in a small bag that hangs by your neck, similar to a camera bag or lanyard. There’s also an option to wear the device on your belt.
Why would I need to wear a Holter monitor?
A Holter monitor provides a great deal of information to your specialist. There are many reasons you may be asked to wear a monitor for 24 hours, 48 hours, or even for more than a week.
The results can help your cadiologist determine:
- If your medications are working properly
- If your heart is getting sufficient oxygen
- Why you’re experiencing faintness or dizziness
- The extent of your arrhythmia
Your doctor will explain the reason for this screening tool before you receive your monitor.
How do I prepare to wear a Holter monitor?
A Holter monitor requires little advance preparation. Once you arrive, the electrodes are connected and you’ll be instructed how to wear the device and how to prevent it from becoming damaged by water.
You might need to keep an activity diary to record what you’re doing throughout the day. If you notice issues like chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or dizziness, you should note those, as well.
Once your Holter monitor is attached and running properly, you can resume normal activities. Once you’ve worn the monitor for the set period of time, your specialist will gather the results and interpret them.
If you show signs of a heart condition, your potential treatment paths are discussed right away. It’s possible that your specialist will want to run additional testing to learn more about your condition.
To discover more about the role a Holter monitor might play in your heart health, book a visit at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates today, online or over the phone.