A stress test can reveal a wealth of information about a person’s cardiovascular health. Since aging increases the risk of heart problems, this procedure is typically recommended for adults over the age of 50. A stress test can be done in the comfort of our office, which is equipped with the appropriate apparatus to thoroughly investigate an individual’s cardiovascular system.
The goal of a stress test is to measure the performance of the heart under controlled conditions. Before the test begins, a patient’s blood pressure and pulse are measured. The person will then be hooked up to electrodes that are meant to monitor the electrical pulses generated by the heart. The electrodes are perhaps the most important components of electrocardiography, which is commonly known as an ECG or EKG. An electrocardiograph includes valuable data on the heart’s rhythm.
A treadmill is the most common type of fitness machine that is used in a cardiac stress test. However, other forms of exercise may be used. At first, a patient will be asked to exercise at a moderate pace. The medical professional who administers the test will deliberately adjust the intensity of the workout. For example, the speed settings might be increased in order to exert more stress on a subject’s heart.
Throughout the stress test, the patient can request to temporarily stop due to shortness of breath or other problems. The goal of a stress test is to push a person to the limit in terms of cardiovascular and respiratory function.
Besides looking at a patient’s ECG or EKG data, our team will evaluate the respiratory rate and other parameters that define overall cardiovascular health. Our Fort Myers cardiologist might also recommend conducting an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound-based image of the heart. This imaging procedure is typically done before and after a stress test is performed. Once our team collects all of the necessary information relating to a stress test, an accurate conclusion can be made on a patient’s overall cardiovascular health.
After the stress test, our team at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida can tell the patient about all of the risk factors that may lead to coronary artery disease. A person who feels tired and out of breath in the initial stages of a stress test might be prone to a heart attack or angina. An individual who performs well in this test might still need to discuss various lifestyle issues with a doctor.
Based on the results of the stress test, a person might be encouraged to follow a specific type of exercise routine on a weekly basis. Of course, poor results might also indicate that a patient is not fit to engage in intense workouts on a regular basis. Additionally, it could be dangerous for people with a weak cardiovascular system to use saunas and steam rooms. When exposed to high temperatures and humidity levels in such enclosed environments, people with heart and respiratory problems can face life-threatening complications.
If you’re looking for a cardiologist in Fort Myers, look no further than Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about how a stress test can benefit you.