A Holter monitor is a battery-operated portable device that measures and records your heart’s activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on the type of monitoring used. The device is the size of a small camera. It has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to your skin. The Holter monitor and other devices that record your ECG as you go about your daily activities are called ambulatory electrocardiograms.
Uses for Holter monitoring-
An EKG is a medical test that’s used to measure your heart rate and rhythm. It’s also used to look for other abnormalities that may affect normal heart function. During an EKG, electrodes are placed on your chest to check your heart’s rhythm. You may experience heart rhythm irregularities that don’t show up at the time the EKG is done because you’re only hooked up to the machine for a very brief amount of time.
Abnormal heart rhythms and other types of cardiac symptoms can come and go. Monitoring for a longer period of time is necessary to record these events. The Holter monitor lets your doctor see how your heart functions on a long-term basis. The recordings made by the monitor help your doctor determine if your heart is getting enough oxygen or if the electrical impulses in the heart are delayed or early. These irregular impulses may be referred to as arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms.
If you’re already being treated for heart problems, wearing your monitor can help your doctor determine if your medicine is working or if changes need to be made. It can also help them to see why you might be experiencing other symptoms of irregular heartbeat, such as dizziness, faintness, or feeling like your heart is racing or skipping a beat.