Screening for Heart Disease
Disclaimer: Not medical or professional advice. Always seek the advice of your physician.
Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death globally. In this article, you will find out how to check your heart function before it is too late.
When to Check the Heart and Blood Vessels
- If you experience any symptoms. The most common signs of cardiovascular diseases are shortness of breath, dizziness, excessive sweating, and swelling. If these symptoms persist for weeks, you should consult a doctor.
- If you want to begin a program of exercise and/or sports activity. Especially if you choose swimming, running, or intensive strength training. It is critical to check your heart health if you are interested in pursuing a sports career or achieving results.
- If you have certain risk factors for heart disease. Major risk factors include diabetes, smoking, stress, sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease. You should discuss all of these factors with your doctor.
Tests to Diagnose Heart Problems
An electrocardiogram is a test that helps to assess the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. An ECG can also detect heart muscle damage from a heart attack. This procedure is one of the simplest and fastest methods used to diagnose heart diseases.
A Holter monitor is a portable device that can continuously record the heart’s activity. The monitor is usually worn for approximately 24 or 72 hours during normal daily activities. Holter data helps identify abnormalities in your heart rhythm that occur throughout the day.
Comprehensive testing programs show the risk of developing cholesterol plaques in blood vessels that can cause a heart attack.
Laboratory screening tests are offered to all men and women. Doctors recommend getting heart health tests at least once every 5 years, starting at age 20. In the presence of risk factors (obesity, diabetes, family history of heart disease) and after 40 years, the tests should be performed more often.
A stress test is used to learn how well your heart responds to physical activity. It can reveal heart and blood vessel problems, as well as identify other symptoms that do not occur at rest.
During stress testing, you will be connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine and/or tonometer and asked to exercise. Typically, this test involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.
This method allows detecting abnormalities of the heart, major vessels, and lungs. A chest CT scan produces cross-sectional images, called slices. They are then compiled into a 3-D model of the heart that can be studied from all angles.
Echocardiogram or Ultrasound
An echocardiogram involves placing an ultrasound wand called a transducer on the chest. Echocardiography is used to determine the cause of a heart murmur and assess the overall function of the heart.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
This medical imaging technique uses a magnetic field to create detailed images of the heart. The distinctive feature of this method is the most accurate measurements of the heart.
During this procedure, a thin catheter is inserted into an artery or vein to reach the main vessels and heart chambers. Catheters may have different instruments attached to measure pressure, examine cardiac valves and blood vessels.
Make an appointment at Lake Conway. We offer a wide range of services to help you achieve the best possible health for you and your heart. Our doctors select the most suitable methods for diagnosing heart diseases, considering a comprehensive assessment of the patient's lifestyle, the clinical picture of a disease, and family health history.