You’ve probably heard of heart failure, but what you might not know is that there are two types: right-sided and left-sided. Left-sided heart failure is the most common type, and it happens when the left ventricle of your heart can’t pump blood out to the rest of your body. This can cause a variety of symptoms, which we’ll cover in this post.
We’ll also discuss the causes of left-sided heart failure, as well as how it’s diagnosed and treated. If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of left-sided heart failure, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Treatment options are available, and early diagnosis is key to preventing more serious problems down the road.
What Is Left-Sided Heart Failure?
Left-sided heart failure occurs when the left side of your heart can’t pump blood efficiently to the rest of your body. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling in your legs and ankles.
Left-sided heart failure is usually caused by damage to the heart muscle, which can happen as a result of a heart attack, high blood pressure, or diabetes. If left untreated, left-sided heart failure can lead to serious health problems, including death.
Symptoms of Left-Sided Heart Failure
Left-sided heart failure can be tricky to diagnose because its symptoms are often mistaken for other conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms:
- Shortness of breath. This is one of the most common symptoms, and it’s often worse when you’re lying down or trying to exercise.
- Swelling in your legs and ankles. This can be a sign that fluid is building up in your lungs.
- Fatigue and general weakness. You may feel tired all the time, and even small tasks may seem like too much effort.
- Increased heart rate. You may feel like your heart is racing for no reason.
- Nausea and vomiting. This can be a sign that fluid is building up in your stomach cavity.
- An irregular heartbeat. This can be a sign that your heart is struggling to pump blood through your body properly.
Causes of Left-Sided Heart Failure
Left-sided heart failure can be caused by a number of things, including:
- narrowing of the aorta, which reduces the amount of blood that reaches the left ventricle
- high blood pressure, which puts stress on the heart and can lead to heart failure
- damage to the heart muscle, such as from a heart attack
- viral infections, such as hepatitis C or HIV
- too much alcohol consumption
- chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema or bronchitis
It is important to prevent yourself from any disease instead of looking for its treatment. Prevention of any cardiac disease is similar but the ones for left sided heart failure should be followed keenly. Following are the few preventions you must observe
- Quit smoking: if you are a smoker, quit smoking immediately. One of the leading causes of heart failure is smoking because it damages the lungs and intoxicates the blood that circulates in the heart
- Morning walk: you should always go for a morning walks, since it opens your lungs more efficiently due to fresh air and adequate amount of oxygen present in the morning air.
- Reduce cholesterol: our diets are filled with oils and fat. In order to keep your heart healthy you should avoid eating oily food in excess. Fast food with fried meat should also be avoided.
- Regular checkup: one should get a regular checkup from his or her doctor to make sure that their systems are working perfectly.