Not really. In fact, heart failure is newly diagnosed in more than half a million Americans per year and may be somewhat different for men and women. Most of the time, a physician can make the diagnosis on the basis of symptoms given by the patient. On some occasions, however, it is more difficult to make this diagnosis if there are other problems such as lung disease (asthma, emphysema) present.
First, the symptoms:
• Shortness of breath on exertion
• Diminished capacity to exercise
• Heavy, swollen legs
Second, the signs:
• Abnormal heart sounds or heart rhythms
• Abnormal lung sounds
• Evidence for fluid in the ankles
Third, the tests:
• Electrocardiogram or ECG
• Echocardiogram (ultrasound)
• Chest X-ray
• In rare cases: chest CT or MRI
• Blood work such as “cardiac enzymes” or hormones associated with heart failure
The term "heart failure" makes it sound like the heart is no longer working at all and there’s nothing that can be done. Actually, heart failure means that the heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be. Your body depends on the heart’s pumping action to deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the body’s cells. When the cells are nourished properly, the body can function normally.
With heart failure, the weakened heart can’t supply the cells with enough blood and as a result you don’t feel as well, or have as much “energy” as you should.
Heart failure is a serious condition; it can certainly limit how long you live and there’s usually no cure. But many people with heart failure lead a full, enjoyable life when the condition is managed with medicationslifestyle changes. It’s also helpful to have the support of family and friends who understand your condition. and healthy
Heart failure can involve the heart's left side, right side or both sides, but it usually affects the left side first. Each side is made up of two chambers: the atrium, or upper chamber; and the ventricle, or lower chamber. The atrium receives blood into the heart, and the ventricle pumps it where it needs to go. Heart failure occurs when any of these chambers lose their ability to keep up with the amount of blood flow.
"Left-Sided" Heart Failure
“Left-sided” or left ventricular (