Heart failure (sometimes known as congestive heart failure) occurs when the heart muscle is weakened or damaged and can’t effectively pump blood to the rest of the body.
Heart failure is a chronic disease that can be caused by many heart conditions. It may affect only one side of the heart or both sides. When heart failure affects the left side (left-sided heart failure), the heart muscle cannot pump blood out of the heart well, also, it can be caused by a stiff heart muscle which prevents it from filling up with blood properly in between each contractions of the heartbeat. You may notice some shortness of breath if the fluid backs ups into your lungs. When it affects the right side( Right –sided heart failure)—often as a result of failure on the left side—it can cause blood to back up in the body’s veins(fluid may back up into your abdomen, legs and feet, causing swelling) instead of moving into the heart to pick up oxygen.
Conditions that can weaken the heart muscle and lead to heart failure include:
Symptoms of heart failure include:
Your doctor can diagnose heart failure using a physical exam and the results of several tests, including:
Treatments to manage heart failure include lifestyle changes, medications, medical procedures and surgery.
Your doctor may recommend the following lifestyle changes:
Medications may improve your heart function and make it easier for you to get physical activity. You may be prescribed:
If lifestyle changes and medication is not enough, you may need a medical procedure or surgery to restore heart function. Surgical options include: