While cardiac stress tests have been done for decades to help doctors see how healthy your heart is, they remain vitally important even in the midst of today’s new health-related technology. The basic use of a cardiac stress test is to determine if there is any disease in your heart. The test will be able to determine if your heart can keep up with your body’s needs under stress. During the test, your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure will all be closely monitored along with your breathing and pain levels.
More specifically, our provider will be checking for several specific problems. First, he will monitor you to see if you develop chest pain or the feeling of heart palpitations during the test. Second, he will be able to determine if your heart muscle is getting enough blood when it is forced to work hard. Third, our provider will be able to determine if you need new or different cardiac medications or if you need to change your exercise regimen. Finally, he will be able to see whether you have an abnormal heart rhythm and whether your heart valves are healthy.
There are several types of cardiac stress tests that our doctor may order for you depending on your needs and physical abilities. However, the most popular stress test is the exercise stress test, which is performed while you are performing some type of exercise. Throughout the test, your exercise will become more difficult with a faster pace or a higher incline. While you are doing this, you will be hooked up to a variety of monitors that will keep a close watch on your heart rate and rhythm throughout the time. You will also be asked regularly how you are feeling and how well you are able to breathe.
Other types of stress tests may be added on, such as the stress echocardiogram that looks at the heart walls or the nuclear stress test that uses radioactive medication to see your heart muscle and to visualize how much life-giving blood is getting to each part of the heart.
You can learn more information about the importance of getting a stress test during your initial consultation at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our cardiologist!