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Does listening to the heart with a stethoscope provide reliable diagnosis when a heart is racing after exercise?

By Anonymous January 11, 2012 - 10:32pm
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Thanks Rosa, that's right, a friend recently leant me her stethoscope allowing me to hear my own heart and lung sounds for the first time. At rest the heart was loud, but you could still hear breath sounds - pretty much what I'd expected. After running all I seemed to hear was a fast, heavy thumping - no breaths or other noises - that droned out everything beside. To my ear it seemed to mask audible subtleties. I imagined this might preclude any proper analysis of breath noises and, indeed, salient noises made by the heart itself. Hence my query.

November 9, 2012 - 9:28pm

Hello Anon,

Thank you for posting! There are a few things that a stethoscope can help you determine: Your heart rate and rhythm and if you've got a really good ear-- a heart murmur. If someone is a cardiologist or a cardiology nurse with plenty of experience listening to heart sounds then the stethoscope is a good aid in diagnosing since the ear gets used to listening to certain heart conditions through a stethoscope. If it is a serious defect the doctor will usually confirm this with further tests. 

I'm curious as to why you ask this? Have you been diagnosed with a heart condition? Did you check your own heart rate after exercise or did your doctor? More information would be helpful.

Best wishes,


January 12, 2012 - 6:51am
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