The inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically, failure of the heart to pump blood with normal efficiency is known as conjestive heart failure. When this occurs, the heart is unable to provide adequate blood flow to other organs such as the brain, liver and kidneys.
Symptoms of heart failure can be associated with congestion that forms as fluid backs up into the lungs and leaks into the tissues. Other symptoms occur from the inadequate amount of oxygen-rich blood being delivered to the body's tissues. Since heart failure can happen very quickly, it is essential to contact your family doctor immediately if you discover that you have any of the following symptoms.
Shortness of breath and fatigue-Both caused by fluid in the lungs. Patients generally complain that they feel out of breath after just a little activity.
Coughing and wheezing-Caughing or wheezing occurs a few hours after you lay down and then stops when you sit up.
Sleep apnea-Sleep apnea occurs when your brain fail to signal the breathing muscles while you are sleeping. This results in irregular breathing during sleep.
Fluid retention- Swelling in your legs or abdominal region.
Muscle mass- Decreases over time.
Weigh gain-When your family physician is checking you in for your visit, your weight plays an incredibly important role in detecting conjestive heart failure.
Pulmonary edema occurs when fluid builds up in your lungs. When this happens, symptoms become more severe. Some of the symptoms include:
- Pale and clammy skin-Can be nearly blue at times and is life-threatening. If this happens, you should immediately go to the emergency room for care.
- Cough-producing a pinkish froth.
- Lungs-May feel as if they are under water or "drowning".