A Holter monitor is a kind of cardiac monitor that documents the activity of your heart over the course of 24 or 48 hours. A cardiac monitor can assist in determining the problem if you experience irregular pulse or heart palpitations, in case an EKG didn’t show anything abnormal. You perform your everyday activities while wearing the Holter monitor. Your provider will discuss the results with you.
A Holter Monitor: What Is It?
Dr Norman J. Holter, who invented the Holter monitor in the 1950s, is honoured by the name. An ambulatory ECG that captures your heart’s rhythm and activity is known as a Holter monitor. It provides your healthcare professional with a complete picture of how your heart rate and rhythm change throughout the course of your day.
About Holter Monitor:
- The size of this monitor is comparable to a cell phone.
- It is powered by batteries.
- Wires and electrodes, which are tiny patches that adhere to your skin, are included.
A Holter Monitor monitors the electrical activity of your heart for 24 or 48 hours, You carry on with your normal everyday activities while wearing it.
Who Needs a Holter Monitor?
If you have an unreliable electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), a form of heart test, you could require a Holter monitor. An EKG that was inconclusive had unclear results.
Perhaps you visited the doctor due to symptoms of a cardiac rhythm disorder, such as racing or fluttering heartbeats. Or you experienced an unexplained faint.
Your provider chose to perform an EKG in order to detect the issue. But the EKG just captures a brief snapshot of your heart. It’s not always that you experience heart symptoms when you’re in the doctor’s office.
A Holter monitor can be useful if the EKG cannot deliver all the information your doctor needs. More details on the activities of your heart are gathered. Wearing it for a full day or two increases the likelihood that it will notice unusual behaviour.
What Conditions Can A Holter Monitor Detect?
A Holter monitor can determine what caused:
- Arrhythmia (heart rhythm irregularities)
- Palpitations in the heart
- A feeling of unease
A cardiac monitor can also be used by your doctor to assess how well:
- Oxygen reaches the heart.
- The drugs for the heart are functioning.
- The pacemaker is operating.
When I Wear the Holter Monitor, What Should I Expect?
A technician will give instructions and connect the cardiac monitor. Here’s what to anticipate:
- The technician secures the electrodes to your chest after attaching them. Small, rounded, sticky patches make up the electrodes. To ensure that the electrodes stay in place, they might need to shave your chest.
- The technician assists you with placing the monitor and connecting it to the electrodes. They describe how to maintain the monitor.
- You can keep the cardiac monitor in a pocket or bag for transportation, or you might strap it to your body like a purse. It may also be worn around your waist.
- You can do the majority of your regular activities while wearing the monitor.
- Keep a log of your activities and symptoms. Your technician will show you how to do this. Record symptoms, including chest pain, irregular or skipped heartbeats, and shortness of breath. Note the symptoms’ onset date and your current activities. Your doctor will evaluate your EKG changes in relation to your symptoms and activity.
What Happens When I Stop Using the Holter Monitor?
Following the 24-or 48-hour window:
- You give the technician your monitor back.
- A report is sent to your provider by the technician after processing your records, including the EKG and your remarks.
- The test results will be available to you within a week or two.
Your provider might advise:
- Additional heart tests
- Drugs for the heart
- Cardioversion is a technique that aids in bringing your heart rhythm back to normal.
- Ablation of an aberrant rhythm using hot or cold energy to form scar tissue.
When will I find out the Holter monitor’s study results?
Within a week or two of the test, your doctor will call you with the results. The outcomes could indicate that the heart monitor picked up an arrhythmia, such as:
- Bradycardia (a state in which your heart beats more slowly than usual, or under 60 beats per minute)
- Atrial fibrillation (upper chambers of your heart begin to beat irregularly)
- Tachycardia (irregular electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart cause an irregular cardiac rhythm.)
- Premature ventricular contractions (a kind of unsteady heartbeat)
Your provider will do the next steps for you. You might need additional testing or drugs to treat your heart rhythm.
What should I do in light of the monitor’s study results?
If your doctor suggests a Holter monitor, enquire:
- Is the Holter monitor required for 24 or 48 hours?
- Is the monitor necessary, and why?
- When will I find out the Holter monitor’s study results?
- What might I have to do in light of the monitor’s study results?
- What remedies or more examinations would I require following the Holter monitor?
A Message from the Heartscope Specialist Group
A Holter monitor shows the activity of your heart over 24 or 48 hours. It can assist your doctor in determining the root of a heart condition that an EKG fails to detect. You wear the Holter monitor while performing your daily tasks. It aids your doctor in determining what is causing your racing heart, fluttering heart, or dizziness. The examination is painless. Your doctor can discuss the outcomes and future steps after completing the test. The Heartscope Specialist Group also provides the service of Holter monitoring and will be happy to answer all your queries related to the Holter monitor.