If you’re out of breath after walking up stairs, or your lower legs are swollen at the end of the day, you may be one of the nearly 6 million Americans with congestive heart failure. It’s important to get early treatment at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, where the team, provides the comprehensive care you need to slow down the disease progression so you can live a healthy life. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Mountain View, California, or use the online scheduler.
Congestive heart failure develops over time as the heart gradually loses its ability to pump blood. When the condition affects the right side of your heart, the heart muscles are too weak to send blood to the lungs.
If the condition primarily affects the left side of your heart, it can’t pump enough blood to your body, depriving organs and tissues of oxygen. However, both sides of the heart are affected in most patients.
Any health condition that damages or weakens your heart muscles can cause congestive heart failure. For example, diabetes, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy may lead to heart failure. However, the top two causes are coronary artery disease and high blood pressure.
In the early stages of congestive heart failure, coughing and shortness of breath may seem more like respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. As heart failure progresses, you’ll experience symptoms such as:
You won’t be able to tolerate mild exercise because your body can’t get the oxygen it needs to support physical activity.
Ordinary activities such as walking around the house may be impossible because you can’t catch your breath. If fluid backs up in the lungs, you may also have trouble breathing when you lie down to rest.
Puffy swelling develops in your legs, feet, and ankles, especially toward the end of the day or after prolonged sitting. If you press down on the swollen area with your finger, the indentation stays visible for several minutes. In severe cases, edema builds up in your abdomen.
The physician team at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists provides individualized care for congestive heart failure with the goal of reducing your symptoms, preventing your heart failure from getting worse, and improving your quality of life.
In addition to treating underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, the physician may recommend medications that reduce blood volume, strengthen your heartbeat, and lower the workload on your heart.
Patients with congestive heart failure may develop an arrhythmia, which further weakens the heart’s ability to pump blood. The physician may implant a cardioverter defibrillator or other specialized pacemakers to correct problems in your heart’s electrical system.
In severe cases of congestive heart failure, he may implant a left ventricular assist device to help your heart pump blood more effectively.
To receive compassionate and experienced care for congestive heart failure, call Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists or schedule an appointment online.