Heart Failure Treatment in Newton, New Jersey
People often think of heart failure as a heart attack, or the heart not working altogether. However, heart failure simply means the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should be. If the heart can’t properly circulate blood throughout the body, cells don’t get the oxygen they need which can lead to many side effects.
Take the first step towards a healthier heart today. Trust the expertise of Sussex Heart’s experienced cardiology team. Schedule your consultation online today and let us help you live a heart-healthy life.
What are the Causes of Heart Failure?
It’s important to know how the heart normally functions in order to understand the physical cause of heart failure. The heart is comprised of four chambers: the two atria on the top and two ventricles on the bottom. When it’s working properly, these chambers function in a very organized way and pump in a precise order for oxygen to get to the lungs, as well as other organs and tissue.
The heart and body will try and compensate with one more method such as enlarging the heart chambers to pump more blood, developing more muscle mass to pump more strongly, pumping faster, narrowing vessels to regulate blood pressure, or prioritizing blood to important organs (the brain or lungs) from less important organs (kidneys). These may stabilize the symptoms of heart failure temporarily, but they ultimately will cause their own problems and may not treat heart failure in the long run.
Who is at Risk for Heart Failure?
Typically, heart failure is more common with age. More than 6 million people in the U.S. live with heart failure and typically are 65 years of age or older. This is because heart failure is usually a complication of another heart disease, and most people with those diseases are in this age group. The most common conditions that lead to heart failure are coronary artery disease, previous heart attack, and high blood pressure.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure?
Symptoms of heart failure are usually caused by the body’s compensation of the heart’s weakness. Common symptoms include:
Shortness of breath – Blood backs up in the veins that carry blood to your lungs, due to the heart’s lethargy (and possible enlargement), which leads to fluid buildup in the lungs.
Fatigue and lightheaded feeling – The heart diverts blood to more vital organs which makes your muscles, specifically in your limbs, get less oxygen and feel more tired.
Coughing and wheezing – The coughing may produce cloudy pink mucus caused by fluid buildup in the lungs.
High heart rate – The heart compensates for it’s inability to keep up with blood supply.
What is the Diagnosis of Heart Failure?
Talking to your doctor is the first step in heart failure diagnosis and treatment. If a patient complains about any of the above symptoms, their doctor will ask about medical history, and more information on symptoms and then conduct a physical exam. If the doctor believes there’s a chance heart failure is the problem, further tests may be taken including:
Stress test – You’ll be hooked up to monitoring equipment and slowly build up your physical exertion on a treadmill by starting to walk, then working up to jogging and other conditions such as an incline. The doctor will see how the heart and body react to sudden changes in physical activity.
Electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiography (echo) – Both are used to test the heart’s structure, motion, and pumping rhythm. The EKG uses electrical pulses to read the heart, while the echo uses sound waves. These are both painless.
Diagnostic imaging – Your doctor may do a chest X-ray or PET/CT scan to determine the functionality of the heart.
Cardiac catheterization – A tube is inserted in a blood vessel in your upper thigh or arm, with the tip of the tube positioned at the heart or arteries that supply the heart. A contrast dye is injected through the tube, which can be picked up by X-rays. The pictures that are produced are called angiograms, and give an overview of how the heart, arteries, and cardiovascular system are working.
What is the Treatment for Heart Failure?
Most treatments are non-surgical and include medication, lifestyle changes, or just ongoing care. In severe cases, surgery or device implants may be necessary.
It’s important to know that while it is difficult to live with a chronic condition, many people go on to live happy and active lives. Typically, the people who get the full benefits of treatment and support are the patients willing to change their lives, stick to their treatment, and properly manage their condition.
Schedule a Heart Failure Consultation in Newton, New Jersey
Preventing or treating heart failure is crucial for maintaining cardiovascular health. For expert cardiac care in Sussex County, schedule a consultation with Cardiology Associates of Sussex County today. Reach our office at 973-579-2100 or conveniently request an appointment through our secure online form. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to provide personalized treatment and guidance, ensuring that your heart health is in capable hands. Don’t wait any longer to prioritize your cardiovascular well-being – take the first step towards a healthier heart with Cardiology Associates of Sussex County.