Cardiac arrhythmia is one of the common heart disorders and is a condition of irregular rhythm or heart beat. The condition of decreased heart rhythm is called bradycardia and the increased heart rhythm is known as tachycardia. The common symptoms of heart rhythm problems include palpitations, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
To assess the impaired cardiac rhythms various rhythm monitoring procedures are used and they include:
- Electrocardiogram: Electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. While recording an ECG, electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs. These electrodes are connected to a machine that creates a graph of the electrical activity (rhythm and rate) of your heart
- Holter Monitor: Holter monitor is a portable ECG recorder that can be worn throughout the day. Electrodes are placed on your chest, electrical signals from the heart are recorded and stored in the Holter monitor. You will be advised to note down your activities and symptoms such as rapid heartbeats, dizziness or fainting episodes. After the test is complete, the Holter monitor is connected to a special computer that can analyze the recording
- Event Monitor: This device is similar to a Holter monitor and is worn during normal daily activities. It is worn for a longer period and is used to monitor arrhythmias that are less frequent. Electrodes are placed on to your chest and wires from the electrodes are attached to a box which is worn on the belt. When symptoms are felt, a button should be pressed which activates the recorder. The monitor will record the events that occur 60 seconds before the button is pressed to about 40 seconds after the arrhythmia