Sudden fatigue, constant coughing, and shortness of breath can be easy to dismiss. However, these are all possible signs of heart failure. As you get older, especially if you’re a man, your chances of heart failure will increase. It’s important to visit Charles F. Lovell, M.D., in Norfolk, Virginia, regularly so he can monitor you for signs of heart failure. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.
As the name implies, heart failure occurs when your heart stops working properly. It’s serious, but it isn’t necessarily a death sentence. During heart failure, your heart doesn’t pump enough blood into your body to meet its needs.
If your heart failure isn’t treated, your organs will have trouble functioning, and they will begin to shut down. The condition is more common in men than women, but women are more likely to die from it.
Heart failure comes with symptoms that are difficult to ignore. If you notice them, you should seek medical care immediately. Symptoms of heart failure include:
Since many of these symptoms can be signs of other problems, it’s important to come in for a diagnosis no matter what you’re experiencing.
If you’re diagnosed with heart failure, you have options for treatment. If you catch it early, there are many medications that Dr. Lovell can prescribe to improve your blood flow. You may also need to avoid other medications that are normally safe, including naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil).
If your heart failure can’t be treated with medications, you may need surgery. There are several common surgeries for heart failure, including:
During an angioplasty, a surgeon inserts a tiny balloon into the blocked artery of your heart and expands it to open it back up. Then the surgeon places a stent in your artery to keep it open.
During coronary bypass surgery, a surgeon uses a healthy piece of an artery to replace the part that is blocked.
You may need a pacemaker to help your heart continue beating and pumping blood adequately. This requires surgery for insertion.
Heart transplants are only necessary in the most serious cases of heart failure. You may need a heart transplant if there are no other options.
If you have concerns about heart failure and want to know how to prevent it or recognize it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Charles F. Lovell, M.D., today.