The heart monitor is a wearable device used to measure the heart rate in real time or record it for later evaluation. How does a heart monitor work? How long do you wear a heart monitor? Does it improve your cardiovascular health? Read on for answers to these questions.
The heart is an important muscular organ in the human body. It is responsible for the circulation of nutrients and oxygen to the different parts of the body through the blood vessels in the circulatory system. It pumps blood and aids in the removal of metabolic waste. Therefore, it is important to keep it in a healthy condition.
A healthy heart normally beats 60 to 100 times per minute. For athletes, it can be lower than 60. Research says the lower the number of beats, the better the cardiovascular fitness. On the other hand, a higher heart rate means a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Measuring the heart rate is fast and easy. It is done by locating the pulse on the neck area or on the wrist. Press it with two fingers and count the pulse for 10 seconds. Count it again another two times and then get the average. Multiply the average beats in the span of 10 seconds by 6. The product is the heart rate per minute.
The heart rate monitor is a painless, fast way to monitor one’s heart rate. With a heart monitor, you don’t have to stop to count your pulse. It provides an accurate heart rate reading to indicate and measure the intensity of your exercise and to know at any time of the day what your heart rate is. Do you have to wear it the whole day?
How long do you wear a heart monitor?
The amount of time you should spend wearing a heart monitor depends on your heart condition, diagnosis, and the exercise you take. People who experience arrhythmia may be required to wear ambulatory cardiac monitor such as a Holter monitor or event monitor.
What is a Holter monitor? How does it help in arrhythmia?
Arrhythmia is a sudden stall or jump of the rhythm of the heart. Many people experience it with no harmful side effects. However, if you experience it often and for long periods of time, consult a doctor because it might be a sign of an underlying heart condition.
When diagnosing for arrhythmia, the doctor might ask you to wear an ambulatory cardiac monitor. This is a small electronic device that observes and records the heart’s electrical activity through the electrodes that are put in your body.
What is the difference between a Holter monitor and an event monitor?
A Holter monitor is usually used by patients who frequently experience symptoms of arrhythmia. How long do you wear it? A Holter monitor is used short term, usually 24–48 hours.
On the other hand, the event monitor is used when the patient experiences symptoms less frequently or doesn’t feel the symptoms at all. It is worn longer, usually up to 30 days.
While the heart monitor is worn, the patient does his/her regular activities. Then, he/she returns it to the doctor or cardiac monitoring lab. The heart monitor provides data about when the arrhythmias occur and where in the particular area in the heart the arrhythmias come from. These data will help the doctor in the diagnosis and treatment of any cardiovascular problem.
What to expect when wearing a Holter monitor?
In order to prepare the patient for wearing a Holter monitor and ensure that the device gets a clear reading, here is some important information:
- The electrodes will be attached to your chest to get the necessary ECG records. Make sure that your skin is prepared for the electrodes to get accurate data.
- Always wear the monitor and keep it turned on 24 hours a day, every day for the entire prescribed duration.
- You may also need to record additional information such as activities in a diary. This will serve as additional data that will help the doctor understand the activities that cause the arrhythmia.
- Avoid magnets, electric blankets, cell phones, microwaves, and other things that create interference with the device.
- Always follow the instructions in the monitor’s guide and from the doctor.
It is always important to cooperate with your doctor especially with regards to getting accurate data in order to get a proper diagnosis and receive treatment for whatever cardiovascular illnesses you might have.