Coastal Heart Medical Group
Cardiology & Vascular Specialists located in Santa Ana, CA & Chino Hills, CA
Heart failure affects 6 million Americans and more than 900,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The team of cardiovascular specialists at Coastal Heart Medical Group diagnoses and manages heart failure to help you feel better and improve your heart health. For over 30 years, the team has provided unparalleled care to men and women in Santa Ana, California. To schedule a consultation and exam, call or book online now.
Heart Failure Q & A
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is a chronic condition that reduces your heart’s ability to pump blood. When you experience heart failure, your body tries to compensate by enlarging your heart, increasing its muscle mass, or pumping faster. Your body may also narrow your blood vessels and reduce blood flow to your tissues and organs.
Over time, these compensating processes can’t maintain the level of blood and oxygen your cells need, so you begin to experience symptoms. Causes of heart failure include:
- Coronary artery disease
- High blood pressure
- Previous heart attack
- Abnormal heart valves
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) or inflammation (myocarditis)
- Severe lung disease
The team determines if you are at risk of developing heart failure, or if you’re already experiencing symptoms that require treatment.
What are the signs of heart failure?
If you have heart failure, you may experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent coughing or wheezing
- Swelling or fluid buildup in body tissues
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Decrease appetite
- Trouble with thinking or memory
- Increased heart rate or palpitations
Many of these symptoms occur because your body isn’t getting enough oxygen to support your cells or organs. If left untreated, heart failure is life-threatening. With care at Coastal Heart Medical Group, you can manage your condition and reduce your risk of complications.
How is heart failure diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing signs of heart failure, the team performs a thorough physical examination and cardiac testing. The goals of testing are to identify the type of heart failure you have and the severity of your condition.
Common types of testing include:
- Blood tests
- X-rays or an MRI
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Exercise stress test
- Radionucleotide ventriculography or multiple-gated acquisition scanning
- Cardiac catheterization
The team begins with the least invasive forms of testing to reduce your discomfort. In many cases, the results help your doctors determine which type of treatment is best for you.
How is heart failure treated?
Treatment depends on the type, class, and severity of your heart failure. The team may recommend medications to lower your blood pressure, decrease edema, strengthen your heartbeat, or relax your blood vessels for better circulation.
In later stages of heart failure, your team may recommend a pacemaker to regulate your heartbeat or a mechanical heart pump.
To get tested for heart failure, call or schedule a visit at Coastal Heart Medical Group.
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