RISKS OF A SILENT HEART ATTACK

A silent heart attack is a heart attack that has few, if any, symptoms. You may have never had any symptoms to warn you that you’ve developed a heart problem, such as chest pain or shortness of breath. Some people later recall their silent heart attack was mistaken for indigestion, nausea, muscle pain, or a bad case of the flu.
The risk factors for having a silent heart attack are the same as having a heart attack with symptoms. The risk factors include:
Smoking or chewing tobacco
Family history of heart disease
High cholesterol
Diabetes
Lack of exercise
Being overweight

Having a silent heart attack puts you at a greater risk of having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack also increases your risk of complications, such as heart failure.
If you wonder if you’ve had a silent heart attack, talk to your doctor. A review of your symptoms, health history and a physical exam can help your doctor decide if more tests are necessary. The only way to tell if you’ve had a silent heart attack is to have additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or other imaging tests. These tests can reveal changes that signal you’ve had a heart attack.






WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT OF A HOLTER EXAM?

Holter monitoring is painless and noninvasive. You can hide the electrodes and wires under your clothes, and you can wear the recording device on your belt or attached to a strap. Once your monitoring begins, don’t take the Holter monitor off — you must wear it at all times, even while you sleep.
While you wear a Holter monitor, you can carry out your usual daily activities. Your doctor will tell you how long you’ll need to wear the monitor. It may vary from 24 to 48 hours, depending on what condition your doctor suspects you have or how frequently you have symptoms of a heart problem. A wireless Holter monitor can work for weeks.
You’ll be asked to keep a diary of all your daily activities while you’re wearing the monitor. Write down what activities you do and exactly what time you do them. You should also write down any symptoms you have while you’re wearing the monitor, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or skipped heartbeats.
Your doctor can compare data from the Holter monitor recorder with your diary, which can help diagnose your condition.
After the procedure-
Once your monitoring period is over, you’ll go back to your doctor’s office to return the Holter monitor. A nurse or technician will remove the electrodes from your chest, which may cause some discomfort similar to an adhesive bandage being pulled off your skin.
You’ll turn in the diary you kept while you wore the Holter monitor. When the Holter monitor is interpreted, your doctor will compare the data from the recorder and the activities and symptoms you wrote down.