A Holter monitor is a small, wearable device that keeps track of your heart rhythm. Your doctor may want you to wear a Holter monitor for one to two days. During that time, the device records all of your heartbeats.
Twenty – four hour Holter monitoring is a continuous test to record your heart’s rate and rhythm for 24 hours. You wear the Holter monitor for 12 to 48 hours as you go about your normal daily routine. It can pick up not only your heart’s rate and rhythm but also when you feel chest pains or exhibit symptoms of an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia. 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.
If you have signs or symptoms of a heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or unexplained fainting, your doctor may order a test called an electrocardiogram. An electrocardiogram is a brief, noninvasive test that uses electrodes taped to your chest to check your heart’s rhythm.
You’re encouraged to participate in your normal activities during the Holter 24 – hour test. You’ll be directed to record your activities in a notebook. This helps your doctor determine if changes in heart activity are related to your behaviors and movements.
After the recommended testing time frame has passed, you’ll return to your doctor’s office to have the Holter monitor removed. Your doctor will read your activity journal and analyze the results of the monitor. Depending on the results of the test, you may need to undergo further testing before a diagnosis is made.