High blood pressure, diabetes, family history, genetics, and certain lifestyle choices can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. If you experience symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, heart pounding, or a pulse that is too fast or too slow, make an appointment with your physician. Here are some diagnostic tests your doctor may recommend to help rule out heart disease.
A Holter monitor is a diagnostic test that involves wearing electrodes and a portable heart monitoring device that is similar to an electrocardiogram machine. The device is typically worn for 24 hours, however, your physician may recommend wearing it for 72 hours. The monitor can detect abnormal heart rhythms such as bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, and different types of atypical tachycardia. The Holter monitor is powered by batteries, and because of this, it is safe to wear while showering or bathing. While the monitoring device is safe to wear near water, it is important that you keep the device dry to prevent water damage.
Another diagnostic test that can help your physician rule out heart disease is the echocardiogram. This test provides your doctor with real-time images of your cardiovascular system by using sound waves. It is considered very safe because it does not require ionizing radiation to capture the images. The echocardiogram can reveal disorders with your heart valves and heart chambers, and it is effective in detecting structural and congenital cardiac defects. After your test has been completed, the images will be forwarded to a cardiologist for evaluation.
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