An electrocardiogram is a basic, painless test that measures your heart’s electrical activity. It’s also called an ECG or EKG. Each heartbeat is set off by an electrical signal that begins at the top of your heart and goes to the bottom. Heart problems regularly affect the electrical activity of your heart. Your cardiologist may suggest an EKG in case you’re having sings and symptoms that may suggest a heart problem, including:
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Feeling of tiredness or weakness in any activity.
- Fluttering of your heart.
- A feeling that your heart rate is too fast or too slow.
- Unusual sounds when your doctor listens to your heart.
An EKG will determine the cause of your symptoms and may suggest what type of treatment you need.
If your age is 50 or older and have family history of heart disease. Your doctor may suggest you go for EKG for early sign and symptoms.
Electrocardiograms are often done in a specialist’s office, a clinic or a hospital. ECG machines are standard device in operating rooms and ambulances.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ELECTROCARDIOGRAM?
An EKG is fast, painless, and harmless. After you change into loose clothing, a specialist attaches 12 to 15 soft electrodes with a gel to your chest, arms, and legs. The specialist may need to shave little areas to guarantee the electrodes stick appropriately to your skin. Every electrode is about the size of a quarter. These electrodes are attached to electrical leads (wires), which are then connected to the EKG machine.
During the test, you’ll need to lie straight on a table while the machine records your heart’s electrical activity and places the information on a graph. Try to lie as still as could be expected and inhale smoothly. You shouldn’t talk during the test.
After the procedure, the electrodes are taken out and disposed of. The whole procedure requires around 10 minutes.
TYPES OF ELECTROCARDIOGRAM:
An EKG records a picture of your heart’s electrical activity for the time that you’re being observed. In any case, some heart problems come and go. In these cases, you may require longer or more specialized monitoring.
Some heart problems just show up during exercise. During stress testing, you’ll have an EKG while you’re working out. Regularly, this test is done while you’re on a treadmill or fixed bike.
Otherwise called an ambulatory ECG or EKG monitor, a Holter monitor records your heart’s activity more than 24 to 48 hours while you maintain a dairy of your activity to help your cardiologist with recognizing the reason for your symptoms. Electrodes connected to your chest record data on a portable, battery-operated monitor that you can carry in your pocket, on your belt, or on a shoulder strap.
Symptoms that don’t occur frequently may require an event recorder. It’s like a Holter monitor, yet it records your heart’s electrical activity exactly when symptoms happen. Some event recorders initiate naturally when they distinguish symptoms. Other event recorders expect you to push a button when you feel symptoms. You can send the data straightforwardly to your doctor over a telephone line.