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Aethelwine's avatar

Do I really need to wear a nose clip during my stress test?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) January 22nd, 2015

I’m finally getting the tests I’ve needed since October. A stress test and echo cardiogram are schedule for me in ten days. I’m excited because I’m hoping to get an answer to some health problems I’ve had for some time.

I should say I was excited until I read that I’ll need to wear a nose clip and I’ll be breathing into a tube. Is this correct? I have a hard time breathing only through my mouth. On top of this I start to panic, which makes breathing more difficult. I had a hard time during my lung function testing when I had to wear a nose clip. You’ll never catch me scuba diving or snorkeling. I couldn’t handle it. :(

I will be on a treadmill. Can you fill me in on what to expect?

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10 Answers

Coloma's avatar

No but I hope you’ll update this after the tests.
I need a stress test too but right now just had my 1st MRI for an Adrenal gland cyst and that was not fun. Stuck in the tube having to hold my breath for up to 22 seconds for the individual imaging. I could barely do it, made it to about 20 seconds and HAD to freaking breathe. haha
I’ll be interested to hear others input and your story after it’s done. Oh, the joys of middle age. Pffft!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’ve had a stress test and I didn’t have to wear a clip on my nose and to breath into a tube. However, that test (and I’ve had that too) tests your metabolism. So you wear a peg on your nose for 10 minutes and breath directly into a tube. It allows them to calculate how much energy your body is using when you’re not exerting yourself. If it’s the test I’ve had, you’ll just be lying on a bed.

For a stress test, they attach electrodes and a blood pressure cuff and you have to walk/run on a treadmill at an increasingly high speed for as long as you can. Before I had one, people went on about how awful they are (stress tests) and granted, I wouldn’t choose to do one often, but they’re not that bad. They have someone monitoring your heart and checking your blood pressure and asking you how you’re feeling. My doctor asked how I was feeling on a scale of 1–16 (I think) with the higher number denoting an increased level of discomfort. It was fine.

I’m glad you’re having this done and can finally get some answers on what’s happening with your health.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@jonsblond, I did some more reading and found this. So in your case, yes, it seems you will have to do both. That resource tells you what to expect. I’d say it will add a level of unpleasantness to the stress test experience but just start off at a comfortable pace and don’t try to push yourself too quickly. It’s not a race. I hope it goes okay!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Explain everything to the doctor before you start. I’ve had two stress tests for cardio function, and didn’t have the nose clip. The exhalations go into the tube, not the inhalations, so don’t worry about that. Good luck.

Aethelwine's avatar

Thanks everyone!

I was also wondering about clothing. I was told to wear something comfortable. I’ll wear athletic pants and a tshirt, but will I be able to keep the shirt on during the test? I’ve seen pictures of men doing a stress test and the men are always topless. Do women get to keep their tops on or do we get to wear a gown?

@Coloma Did you get the results from your test? You can pm me. I’ll let you know how my testing goes. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My shirt was off for the EKG leads. I think they’d let you wear a gown. They tend to be very considerate of the patient needs.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Yes, I have to see an Endocrinologist (sp? ) The tumor seems benign but it has to do with whether or not it is secreting too many hormones or none at all. I have gained weight and feel fatigued a lot, sooo, waiting on the referral for the Endo guy in a week or two.
Everything else in my abdomen looks good, no kidney, gallbladder, stomach, colon /intestinal issues.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I wore a top @jonsblond. They need to be able to attach the electrodes so I lifted my shirt to allow them access to do that and my shirt didn’t need to come off. Wear shoes you can walk quickly and safely in and comfortable clothes that will allow them access to attach equipment.

JLeslie's avatar

In pretty sure I wore a top. I didn’t have my nose clipped nor did I breath into a tube. I had a straightforward stress test, but I think often women have the one where you drink something or they inject something into you? I don’t remember.

The doctor should tell you what to wear and that you should not even drink anything with caffeine not even decaf coffee before the test.

You will get up to a running pace, so I’m pretty sure I had a bra on? It’s been a long time since I had it done. Definitely call ahead and ask what to expect. The nurse can tell you. Ask if you can do it without the nose clip and tube.

I’m glad you are able to get the tests now. I don’t know whether to hope you get answers or not, because I certainly don’t want you to have a heart problem. I have benign heart problems, but I am times very aware. I feel the odd arrythmia when my thyroid is out if whack.

Did you send the Q to @osoraro? He definitely would know why maybe they are clipping your nose. Maybe they measure the CO2 or something? I’m totally guessing, I have no idea.

Aethelwine's avatar

@JLeslie He’ll probably send me a bill if I send another medical Q his way. (kidding)

I’m happy with the answers I’ve received. You’ve all been very helpful. Thank you.

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