Have you given your heart a check lately? According to the Ministry of Health, 15 people die from cardiovascular disease every day in Singapore. This means that heart disease or stroke cause 1 out of 3 deaths in the country.
Keeping your heart healthy is an important defence against cardiovascular diseases. Having regular heart screenings with a cardiologist in Singapore helps keep cardiovascular diseases.
But first, let’s take a quick look at how your heart works.
Your heart is a muscular pump. Its main job is to pump blood around the body. It does this by squeezing and relaxing – 90 times a minute if you are a child and 70 times a minute if you are an adult.
To deliver oxygen-rich blood, the heart pumps blood into a major blood vessel called the aorta. This then divides into smaller arteries that carry the blood to different parts of your body. The heart also draws oxygen-poor blood through two large veins, the superior and inferior vena cava. From there the blood goes to the lungs where it can be re-oxygenated.
Some activities can weaken your heart or cause plaque to build up around its walls and arteries. When this happens, you may experience discomfort or pain in your chest. This should tell you that something might be wrong with your heart.
“Doc, I have a pain in my chest.” When your cardiologist hears this, he may tell you to get a heart screening with one of the following methods:
Electrocardiogram (ECG). Your heart produces tiny electrical impulses that helps it contract. An ECG can detect abnormal patterns produced by various heart disorders. For example, an abnormal heart rhythm or a scar in the heart muscle may indicate a recent heart attack.
Echocardiogram. Your cardiologist may also conduct an echocardiogram. This is an ultrasound scan of your heart and shows accurate pictures of the structure of your heart including the walls, chambers and valves.
Exercise Treadmill Test. Check with your cardiologist for clinic facilities such as a treadmill that will help detect coronary heart disease. Also known as "Tolerance Testing", you will walk or run on a treadmill following a protocol. Your cardiologist will measure your blood pressure at regular intervals. They will also watch your heart's electrical activity very closely.
Tilt Table Test. If you’ve had an episode of repeated unexplained fainting, your cardiologist may ask you to undergo a tilt table test. You will lie on a table that moves from a horizontal to a vertical position while the doctor monitors your heart and blood pressure.
Singapore offers competent and trained cardiologists to take care of your heart. You can find good cardiologists in Singapore government hospitals, polyclinics and private clinics. You may also refer to their websites for their credentials.
At the slightest hint of a risk for heart disease, do not delay.
Visit your cardiologist in Singapore and keep your heart in top shape.