May diseases and tests jump into our minds when it comes to cardiology, and a Holter monitor is one of those tests carried out to measure the function of the heart such as rate and rhythm.
Basically, it is a small, battery-powered medical device. Your doctor might recommend you to use one if they required more information about how your heart activity than a regular may provide them.
What is Twenty-four hour Holter Monitoring?
24-hours Holter monitor test is an incessant device to record your heart’s rate and rhythm for a day. Mostly, you wear the device for twelve to forty-eight hours, and you are allowed to get into your casual routine. Holter monitor has electrodes and electrical leads, just like a routine electrocardiogram, but it has fewer leads. The device gives information about your function and when you feel chest discomfort or exhibit symptoms of an irregular heartbeat.
A Holter monitor test is also sometimes known as ambulatory electrocardiography. Two other types of gadgets are used to detect the heart’s rhythm and rate for longer periods of time.
Application of Holter Monitor Test
An electrocardiogram is a clinical test that is performed to analyse heart’s function. It may sometimes be possible to use it to detect other anomalies that affect the normal heart’s rhythm and rate. Electrodes are placed on your chest to measure your heart’s rate during an EKG. You may experience heart rate abnormalities that cannot be exhibited by EKG because you’re only attached to the device for a very short or certain time frame. In such cases, irregular heart rhythms and other types of cardiac symptoms can come and go. And to monitor as well as to measure such events, a Holter monitoring is imperative, which enables your doctor to go into the detail of your heart functioning on a long-term basis. This way, your doctor will be able to determine if your heart is getting sufficient oxygen or if the electrical impulses in the heart are late or premature. The lop-sided impulses may be referred to as arrhythmias or abnormal heart rate.
How Does It Work?
The Holter monitor is slightly larger than a deck of playing cards. Many leads are attached to the device. The leads connect to electrodes are placed on the skin of your chest with a glue-like gel. Through the wires and into the Holter monitor, where it’s recorded, the metal electrodes conduct your heart’s rate and rhythm.
Your doctor will also ask you to wear a small pouch around your neck, holding the monitor itself. To ensure that the readings are correct, it is important to keep the monitor near to your body during the monitoring. You will also be guided on reattaching electrodes if they become loose or fall off during the testing period.
Your primary care physician would also instruct you on how to take care of your monitor and what not to do while you’re wearing it. It is generally appreciated to avoid bathing, showering, and swimming while you’re wearing the device.
You can easily enjoy your normal activities during the 24-hour Holter test. Your doctor would also direct you to record your activities in a notepad. It will help your doctor determine if changes in heart activity are related to your behaviours and movements.
- No risks are involved in wearing the Holter monitor. But you need to keep in mind that the tape or adhesives that attach the electrodes to your skin can cause mild skin irritation in some people (sensitive ones). Therefore, it is important to ensure your heart health care to inquire if you are allergic to adhesives.
- A 24-hour Holter monitor test is a trouble-free procedure. However, your cardiac consultant in Bowral or technician should be concerned to record any chest pain, rapid heartbeat, or other cardiac symptoms you have during the testing period.
Caveats for Wearing a Holter Monitor
To ensure its proper functioning, keep the device dry. Take a bath or shower before your appointment to have the monitor fitted, and don’t apply any lotions or creams. To keep the Holter monitor dry, activities that might lead to the monitor, getting wet must be avoided.
Magnetic and electrical fields may interfere with the function of the Holter monitor. Avoid areas of high voltage while wearing the monitor.
In the case of misreading or false-positives, the Holter may need to be applied again.