What Is a Holter Monitor and How Can It Help?

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If you are at risk for heart disease, your practitioner might recommend using a Holter heart monitor to test your cardiovascular health. Learn how a Holter monitor works and what it can do to help your cardiovascular health.

What is a Holter monitor?

A Holter monitor is an ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) device that records your heart's activity for up to 14 days. This data allows your practitioner to find potential cardiac irregularities they might not be able to detect during an exam, including A-Fib, irregular heartbeats, and other signs of cardiac distress. The portable monitor features coin-sized electrodes connected to wires that attach to your chest to measure data from your heart, which can then be recorded and analyzed. The monitor can be hung freely around your neck or clipped to a belt. Holter monitors are non-invasive and risk-free, and no electricity is delivered into the body. They are lightweight and portable enough to use during regular activity throughout the day or night.

What does a Holter monitor do?

Holter monitors make it possible for your practitioner to find potential cardiac irregularities that might not be detectable during a regular exam. Irregular heartbeats and other symptoms of cardiac distress aren't always consistent and sometimes occur in brief episodes. Holter monitors record  the electrical activity of your heart and track your heartbeat throughout the course of a day (or longer). 

As the electrical impulses cause contractions in your heart, the device records the cardiac activity to find possible abnormalities. It can sense how quickly your heart is beating, whether it is steady or irregular, and the strength of the impulses. 

Why do I need a Holter monitor?

There are several reasons your practitioner might recommend running ECG tests. Through the data captured by the Holter monitor, they can determine things such as:

  • If your heartbeat is irregular 
  • The effectiveness of heart medications you are taking 
  • If a pacemaker is working properly
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of cardiac distress such as dizziness, faintness, or elevated heart rate, the Holter monitor may  help explain what is causing the symptom

Taking control of your cardiac health

Undergoing tests such as ECGs can be daunting, but Holter monitors are designed to help you and your practitioner ensure that your health is on the right track. By monitoring how your heart is behaving, you can work together to improve your condition. If you have any questions or concerns about using a Holter monitor, be sure to talk to your practitioner.  

How Lincare can help

We are the leading provider of cardiac health management services for patients, physicians, and caregivers alike. Our educational programs and Holter monitoring service can facilitate fast and effective treatment. Lincare is here to support you with:

  • Remote Cardiac Services: High-quality diagnostic arrhythmia information to support patient care.
  • Quick Results: Same-day reports made available online within three hours of download.
  • 24/7 Support: With offices across the country, our clinical staff is available around the clock to answer questions and provide help.
  • Improved Access: View test results from any web-enabled browser through a secure password-protected website.
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