FAQs Coping with A-Fib: Monitors

12. “Is there any way to tell how often I get A-Fib or how long the episodes last? What kind of A-Fib monitors are available? I have silent A-Fib (A-Fib without any obvious symptoms). It was discovered by accident when I was getting an EKG during a physical.”

Holter Monitor

Holter Monitor

Your doctor may use a Holter or an Event Monitor. A Holter Monitor records your EKG continuously, usually for 24 hours; an Event Monitor can be used for up to 30 days or longer. For a more in depth discussion about Holter and Event monitors, see my report A Primer: Ambulatory Heart Rhythm Monitors.

Consumer Heart Rate Monitors by Polar

Consumer Heart Rate Monitors by Polar

To monitor for A-Fib yourself, try a consumer, or DIY, sports heart rate monitor available from sporting goods stores. Used by runners and other athletes, they rely on the use of a chest strap to pick up the electrical signals from the heart and transmit to a special wrist watch.

On most you can program a high heart rate zone which you might enter only if you were in A-Fib. That way you could record when and how long you stayed in A-Fib and what your max heart rate was. Some have internal storage recording that can be download to your PC to view data in a graphic form.

We like the “Polar” brand. Check out the array of Polar brand heart rate monitors on Amazon.com. Other companies include Timex, Garmin, Acumen, Nike, and Cardiosport.

For an in-depth review of DIY/sports monitors, see my report: Consumer (DIY) Heart Rate Monitors and my Shopping Guide to DiY Monitors.

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