Heart failure, which is also known as congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart muscle fails to pump sufficient blood as well as it should. The narrowed arteries in one’s heart or high blood pressure make the heart too weak to pump sufficient blood into the system. Heart failure can be prevented if people are aware of how to keep a check on the conditions which cause failure of the heart, like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity.
Heart failure can be of two types, either chronic, which is an ongoing one or acute, one which starts suddenly. The signs and symptoms may include:
Dyspnea, which refers to the shortness of breath when a person exerts himself too much.
There can be fatigue and weakness.
There could be noticeable swelling in the legs, ankles and feet.
A person may not be able to do his exercises on a regular basis.
You can feel the need to urinate at night more often.
As fluid gets retained in the system, that results in rapid weight gain.
Causes Behind Heart Failure
Heart failure can occur after certain conditions have led to the damage or weakening of the heart. Even when the heart becomes too stiff, that can lead to failure of the heart. This situation involve the left side of the heart, right side or even both the sides but usually heart failure begins with the left side, especially the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. Some of the most common causes behind heart failure are discussed below:
Heart attack and coronary artery disease: The most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which is also the primary reason behind heart failure. The disease comes up from the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which lead to the reduction of blood flow, hence resulting in heart attack.
High Blood Pressure: Heart has to work harder to circulate blood throughout the body, if the rate of blood pressure is high.
Faulty heart valves: The valves of the heart help to keep blood flowing the proper direction. Now, when the valves get damaged due to heart attack, it forces the heart to put extra effort, hence leading to weakening of the valves over time.
Heart Arrhythmias: If the heart rhythms are abnormal, causing the heart to beat too fast, can in turn lead to heart failure.
Treatment can take certain forms, which can help people live longer and stay healthy. The different forms of treatment could be through medications, wherein medicines like enalapril, lisinopril, losartan, valsartan could help widen blood vessels and hence lead to lowering of blood pressure, thus improving blood flow.
Inravenous medications like inotropes can help improve the heart pumping function and keep a check on blood pressure.
Other than medications, doctors could take the help of coronary bypass surgery to allow smooth flow of blood through the heart. They could even make a patient undergo heart valve replacement, wherein excess valve tissue is removed and hence the leaflets can close tightly.