Many people understand that an irregular heartbeat can be a serious medical issue, yet far too many people don’t know how to reliably check their heart rhythm without visiting a doctor. Learn some simple techniques for monitoring the heart’s rhythm that you can do anytime, anywhere. Always see a medical professional if you believe you are at risk.

The importance of maintaining a regular heart rhythm

One of the most dangerous things about atrial fibrillation (AFib) is its unpredictability. While some patients may know right away that something is wrong when they experience symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, or shortness of breath, many others are completely unaware that they are suffering from AFib due to a complete lack of symptoms.

Even in the absence of complications that are usually associated with AFib, patients are still at increased risk for stroke and other dangerous health issues. Because of this, it’s crucial to discuss a treatment plan with a cardiac electrophysiologist as soon as possible upon discovering evidence of an irregular heart rhythm.

How you can monitor your heart rhythm at home

There are several tests you can perform at home that can help determine whether or not your heart rhythm is consistent. The most basic is a simple pulse test, where you place your index and middle fingers on your left wrist and search for a pulse. It’s important to remember that you are checking for a consistent rhythm, not counting the beats-per-minute.

Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive stethoscope and listen to the rhythm of your heart directly. Many companies have also developed smartphone apps that can assist in detecting the presence of an irregular heart rhythm.

Steps to take if you think your heart is beating irregularly

If your home tests do indicate a possible irregularity, schedule a consultation with a cardiac electrophysiologist immediately to confirm a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan. Dr. Dilip Mathew, a board certified cardiac electrophysiologist, has been helping patients in the Sarasota area who have irregular heart rhythms since 2004. His practice specializes in heart rhythm disorders, and he provides numerous innovative treatments that can help AFib patients to live safely and fully, no matter how severe or nonexistent their symptoms may be.