A heart-arrhythmia is simply an irregular heartbeat. This problem occurs when the electrical signals that coordinate to the heart’s beats fail to function effectively. The fault signaling leaves the heart beating fast, too slow, or irregularly. Sometimes heart arrhythmia may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless.
However, some heart arrhythmias may lead to bothersome, sometimes even life-threatening- signs and symptoms. No wonder you should take it upon yourself to seek medical attention before things get out of hand.
To diagnose a heart arrhythmia, your medical practitioner will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. He/she can also do a couple of tests to confirm an irregular heartbeat and try finding conditions that may lead to arrhythmia.
Some of the common tests used in diagnosing heart arrhythmias include Electrocardiogram, Holter monitor, Event recorder, Echocardiogram, and Implantable loop recorder. With Electrocardiogram, sensors that can detect the electrical activity of the heart are attached to the chest and sometimes to the arms or legs. It is aimed at measuring the timing and duration of each electrical phases in the heartbeat.
A Holter monitor, on the other hand, is a portable ECG device that can be word for a day or more to record your heart’s activity as you go about your machine. Even recorder is a wearable ECG device leveraged in the detection of sporadic arrhythmias.
In the event that your medical practitioner fails to diagnose an arrhythmia after performing the above tests, he or she may try to trigger the arrhythmia with others tests. A good way to go about this is by performing stress test. With this test, the heart’s activity is monitored as you rider on a stationary bicycle or walk on a treadmill.
Aside from stress test, your doctor may also recommend a Tilt table test. This is especially the case if you’ve had fainting spells. With this test, your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored as you lie flat on a table. This table is then tilted as if your were standing up. Your medical practitioner observes how your heart and the nervous system that controls it is responding to the change in angle.
Sometimes your doctor may choose to use electrodes to stimulate the heart to beat at rates that may trigger or stop an arrhythmia in almost no time.