What is cardiology?
Cardiology is the study and treatment of the heart. A person who specializes in treating and diagnosing cardiovascular systems referred to a cardiologist. But a cardiologist is not always the same as a cardiac surgeon. A cardiac surgeon deals in opening the chest and performs cardiac surgery. The cardiologist carries out tests and performs procedures which include heart catheterizations, inserting a pacemaker and angioplasty.
Cardiac disease relates specifically to the heart, while cardiovascular disease affects the heart and the blood vessels.
When to visit a cardiologist?
If a person is suffering from various heart conditions then their physician can refer them to a cardiologist.
Symptoms indicating heart problem are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Changes in heart rate or rhythm
- High blood Pressure
A cardiologist can perform various tests for a heart murmur or an abnormal heart rhythm.
Heart diseases that a cardiologist can help
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congenital heart disease
- Coronary heart disease
- Congestive heart disease
- High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Ventricular tachycardia
- High blood pressure, or Hypertension
The cardiologist can give advice about preventing cardiac disease.
Test for Cardiology
Here are some of the test given which are performed in Cardiology.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): This test helps in recording the electrical activity of the cardiac.
- Ambulatory ECG: This test records heart rhythms when the person carries out exercise or their regular activities. Small metal electrodes are stuck on to the chest and are connected by wires to a Holter monitor for recording the rhythms.
- An exercise test- this test shows the changes of heart rhythm while resting and exercising. It measures the limitation and performance of the heart.
- Echocardiogram- this test helps in providing an ultrasound picture that shows the heart chambers and its surrounding areas for showing the working of the heart. Echocardiography can measure pumping of blood from the heart known as cardiac output.
- Cardiac catheterization: It is a small tube present near the heart that collects data and may help relieve a blockage. It can take pictures and check the functioning of the cardiac and the electrical system.
- Nuclear cardiology: nuclear imaging techniques use the radioactive materials to study cardiovascular disorders or cardio diseases in a noninvasive way.
Cardiac electrophysiology is a subdiscipline of cardiology. The physician checks the working of electric currents inside the heart muscle tissue, and the spreading of current , and the pattern of the currents.
Electrophysiology study (EPS) of the cardiac is the test in which a catheter is threaded into a vein at the top of the leg.
An EPS of the heart can help in following ways:
- Show what is causing the symptoms
- Decide if a patient needs a pacemaker
- Helps in deciding the best treatment for patients with arrhythmia.
- Help in determining how likely a patient is to experience tachycardia or an accelerated heart beat
A cardiac electrophysiologist can help in providing the treatment for abnormal rhythms including cardiac ablation, pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
How to keep your heart healthy?
Try these following ways to keep your healthy and fit:
- Eat healthy.
- Get active.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking
- Stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure properly.
- Drink alcohol only at the limit.
- Manage stress.