If you had a heart problem, you will be asked to undergo a halter heart monitoring. It is done by attaching a small device on to your chest. This device consists of electrodes, small electronic equipment and wires. The electrodes can pick up the electrical activity of your heart. The signals picked up by the electrodes are transferred to the small equipment. This equipment stores the signals in digital form. After wearing this gadget for 24-48 hours, it will be taken off and your doctor will analyze the stored data to identify any abnormality.
What does the halter monitor do? When you first see your doctor to get treatments for chest pain or fainting, he might have taken an ECG (electrocardiogram). ECG is a graphical representative of electrical activity of your heart. It is measured only for few minutes. The halter monitor records the electrical activity of your heart for a longer duration (for 24-48 hours).
Why do I have to undergo halter monitoring? Why do I have to where this gadget for 24 hours? These are common questions that many people have once they are told about test. If you are told to undergo halter monitoring, your doctor is suspecting a heart problem. There are many indications for halter monitoring. Recurrent fainting attacks are one such indication. Why can’t the doctors diagnose the disease only by looking at the ECG? This is because of the transient nature of some disease conditions. For example, arrhythmias are not always present. Therefore, they are usually not detected during a routine ECG test. Some heart problems occur only when you are doing a specific activity. Continuous monitoring of the electrical activity of your heart allows the doctors to identify these transient pathological conditions and correlate them with your day to day activities. Having these information helps to come to a better management plan that is more convenient and effective.
The information that is stored in the halter monitor may help to diagnose various cardiac problems. They are arrhythmias, bradycardias and tachycardias. Most of these pathological conditions are life threatening. Therefore, they should be identified and treated as soon as possible. So, you should adhere to the instructions given by your doctor. Make sure that you engage in your day to day activities. You should also keep a record of things that you did during the period of the test. This helps to find out the triggering factors of the disease.