Congestive heart failure is a long-standing progressive ailment that affects the pumping capability of the heart muscles. The condition is a phase in which fluid accumulates around the heart and causes it to pump inadequately.
The condition develops if the ventricles could not pump enough blood volume to the body. Over time, blood and other fluids can back flow within the abdomen, lungs, liver and lower body.
Always bear in mind that congestive heart failure can be dangerous. If an individual is suspected with the condition, seek immediate medical care.
What are the causes?
Congestive heart failure might stem from other health conditions that directly involve the cardiovascular system. This is the reason why it is vital to undergo yearly checkups to reduce the risk for heart issues including high blood pressure, valve issues and coronary artery disease.
- Hypertension – if the blood pressure is higher than average, it can lead to congestive heart failure
- Valve issues – valves that do not open and close properly can force the ventricles to strain harder to pump blood
- Coronary artery disease – the buildup of cholesterol and other fatty substances can clog the coronary arteries which results to narrowing
There are also other conditions not related to the heart can increases the risk such as thyroid disease, diabetes and obesity. In addition, severe allergic reactions and infections are also contributing factors.
Indications of congestive heart failure
During the initial phases of congestive heart failure, the individual might not notice any changes in his/her health. In case the condition progresses, there are gradual bodily changes.
There is chest pain that radiates all over the upper body that might be an indication of a heart attack. If the individual experiences this or other symptoms that indicates a severe heart ailment, seek medical care right away.
Indications of heart failure in infants and children
It might be difficult to pinpoint heart failure among infants and young children. The usual symptoms might include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Poor feeding
- Excessive sweating
The doctor might consider various treatment options depending on the overall health of the individual and how far the condition has progressed.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) – these work by opening the constricted blood vessels to improve the flow of blood.
- Beta-blockers – work by lowering the blood pressure and slowing down the rapid heart rhythm
- Diuretics – these work by reducing the fluid content in the body
If the medications are not effective, invasive procedures might be needed. Angioplasty is done to open the blocked arteries. In some cases, the doctor might consider heart valve repair so that the valves can open and close properly.