How to Improve Holter Monitoring Test Results
Several different factors can interfere with your Holter monitor test results. Not handling the equipment properly or keeping away from any possible sources of interference can result in faulty readings or having to redo the test entirely. In order to ensure the accuracy of your Holter monitoring test results, be sure to do the following…
Be Careful With the Electrodes
For men with especially hairy chests, you should shave your chest before hooking up your Holter monitor. Holter monitors are attached to your chest through a serious of extremely sensitive sensors called electrodes. In order to ensure accurate readings, these electrodes must be directly attached to the skin with an adhesive gel. Chest hair can get in the way of direct contact, and therefore must be removed to prevent faulty readings. Most technicians will be prepared to shave you if you have the Holter monitor hooked up at your medical practice, but make sure to remember to shave your chest first if you are setting your Holter monitor up at home.
Electrodes can also loosen or fall off, so be careful not to participate in any high-intensity workouts or activities that may cause them to disconnect. If your electrodes do happen to fall off, it is essential to reattach them immediately. If you have your Holter monitor hooked up at your medical practice, be sure to ask your doctor or technician to walk you through the steps of reattaching your electrodes should they fall off.
Don’t Get Your Holter Monitor Wet
While wearing a Holter Monitor, be sure to avoid any activities that may get your device wet such as swimming or strenuous exercise that may cause you to sweat profusely. Instead of bathing or showering try using wet wipes or a washcloth and soap to clean various areas of your body such as your face, armpits, buttocks, and groin. However, be careful to avoid getting the monitor, leads, or electrodes wet while cleaning yourself.
Keep Away From Any Possible Sources of Interference
Certain electrical devices and technology can potentially skew the outcome of your Holter monitor test and result in having to redo the test entirely. In order to make sure you are getting the most accurate Holter monitor test results possible, be careful to avoid:
- High-voltage areas
- Metal detectors (if you have to go through one, walk through the detector at a normal pace)
- Large/powerful magnets
- Electric blankets
- Electric toothbrushes
- Electric razors
- Cell phones and MP3 players (keep at least 6 inches away from your Holter monitor at all times)
Keep a Detailed Journal
To help your doctors decipher your Holter monitor test results, be sure to keep a record of your daily activities and symptoms. Whenever you experience a symptom, try to record the following information:
- What you were doing when symptoms started
- Any foods or drinks you just consumed
- Whether you were active or resting
Additionally, keep note of any particularly stressful events that occur while you are wearing your Holter Monitor. High levels of stress and emotions can raise the levels of circulating adrenaline or induce certain abnormal heart rhythms. Be sure to mention any unusually stressful situations that you went through during a Holter monitor test with your doctor so that you can discuss whether or not any findings from your test results could be related to stress.
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