Who Needs a Holter or Event Monitor?
Your doctor may recommend a Holter or event monitor if he or she thinks you have anarrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat.
Holter and event monitors most often are used to detect arrhythmias in people who have:
- Issues with fainting or feeling dizzy. A monitor might be used if causes other than a heart rhythm problem have been ruled out.
- Palpitations (pal-pih-TA-shuns) that recur with no known cause. Palpitations are feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or fast. You may have these feelings in your chest, throat, or neck.
People who are being treated for heart rhythm problems also may need to use Holter or event monitors. The monitors can show how well their treatments are working. Heart rhythm problems may occur only during certain activities, such sleeping or physical exertion. Holter and event monitors record your heart rhythm while you do your normal daily routine. This allows your doctor to see how your heart responds to various activities.
Holter monitors record your heart rhythm continuously for 24 to 48 hours. A Holter monitor is about the size of a large deck of cards. You can clip it to a belt or carry it in a pocket. Wires connect the device to sensors (called electrodes) that are stuck to your chest using sticky patches. These sensors detect your heart's electrical signals, and the monitor records your heart rhythm.