Diseases Diseases

What Are Symptoms Of Heart Diseases

Introduction

Symptoms of heart diseases range depending on the severity of the disease and the root cause of the disease. Heart diseases can include diseases that affect the heart directly and blood vessels. Most heart diseases are preventable and treatable if caught within a reasonable period of time. If caught early enough, treatment can be as simple as modifying your diet and exercising. Left untreated, heart disease treatment can include surgery to repair the heart muscle. Recognizing the symptoms of heart diseases can help you to determine when it is time to seek medical attention for you or your loved ones.

Chest Pain/Dizziness

Chest pain, or angina, is one of the most common symptoms of heart diseases. The pain is often the result of your heart not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. Sufferers of angina describe the pain as a squeezing in the chest or a tight pressure. The pain is often mistaken for symptoms of indigestion. The pain can also occur in other areas outside of the chest including the jaw, neck and arms. Lightheadedness or dizziness are symptoms of heart disease that are experienced by most people with heart conditions. The lack of circulation due to constricted blood vessels can cause a person to feel lightheaded or dizzy. In some instances, the feelings can lead to fainting or near fainting.

Dyspnea/Numbness/Swelling

Another symptom of heart diseases is shortness of breath. Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, can occur while a person is at rest or during an activity such as exercise or working. Depending on the severity of the heart disease, the shortness of breath can happen gradually or occur all of a sudden. 

Numbness or weakness in the legs and arms is also a warning symptom of heart diseases. The weakness and numbness occurs when the blood vessels to your limbs are narrowed as a result of the heart disease. The symptom is an indicator that the disease has greatly progressed and a cardiac event such as heart attack or stroke may be imminent. 

Swelling is a common occurrence in people who are experiencing symptoms of heart diseases that are the result of a heart defect. The swelling commonly occurs in the legs, area around the eyes and the abdomen. In some instances, swelling of the hands can also occur.

Tips and comments

Other symptoms such as fever, a dry cough and skin rashes are rare symptoms of heart diseases that usually indicate that a heart infection is present. Infections such as endocarditis and pericarditis affect the tissue around the heart and its chambers and valves.

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of heart diseases. Early treatment can help to reduce the possibility of experiencing complications from the diseases. Waiting longer can result in irreparable damage that could prove to be fatal in some instances.

Symptoms of heart diseases vary greatly. If you are experiencing changes in sleep habits, decreased urination or extreme fatigue, don't hesitate to get help. Immediately call for emergency services if the symptoms of heart diseases seem to worsen quickly.

By Laurel Moore, published at 02/16/2012
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