Heart disease is an umbrella term that covers a myriad of conditions including blood vessel diseases, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems and many more. Some other heart conditions that affect the muscle, valves, or rhythm of the heart are also called heart disease. Heart disease is occasionally used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease, which generally refers to conditions that involved blocked blood vessels which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
So what exactly are the symptoms of heart disease? Do all patients with heart disease experience the same symptoms? Not exactly. The symptoms a person with heart disease experiences depends on the underlying heart problem. Let’s take a look at some heart disease problems and what each of their symptoms are.
Symptoms Caused By Atherosclerotic Disease
Atherosclerotic disease refers to the narrowing of blood vessels. It can be caused by plaque buildup in the vessels. Symptoms of narrowing or blocked blood vessels include heart attacks, chest tightness, shortness of breath, weakness, numbness, or a chilling sensation in the arms or legs. Patients also experience radiating pain in the shoulder, neck, jaw, and throat. In some cases, patients have a heart arrhythmia that presents itself as a fluttering heartbeat, lightheadedness, dizziness, and even fainting.
Unfortunately, a lot of people do not realize they have atherosclerotic disease until symptoms are severe. That is why it’s critical to keep your doctor aware of any symptoms you experience, no matter how mild they may seem.
Symptoms Caused by Congenital Heart Defects
A lot of people who are born with congenital heart defects are diagnosed at birth and get their surgical procedures done to correct the problem. But certain defects go undetected until symptoms become apparent later on. Children with congenital heart defects often experience pale gray or bluish-tinged skin, swelling in the legs or abdominal area and shortness of breath during feedings.
Symptoms Caused By a Weak Heart Muscle
Dilated cardiomyopathy refers to the heart’s inability to pump blood adequately because the heart’s main pumping chamber has weakened. Patients with this condition may be asymptomatic, but as the condition worsens, they will likely experience symptoms like breathlessness even when resting and swelling caused by blood pooling in the lower extremities.
Patients may also feel fatigued easily, have irregular heartbeats, dizziness and fainting due to poor blood flow caused by a weak heart muscle.
Warning Signs To Look Out For
Heart disease often goes undiagnosed until it has progressed significantly because people are unaware of the warning signs present in early stages. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s time to see a cardiologist to get tested for heart disease.
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling in the lower extremities
- Pain in the chest
- Changes in the color of your skin, fingers, and toes
Heart Disease Treatment in Wayne County, Ohio
If you are experiencing a heart-related health problem such as a heart disease condition, come see the experts at Wooster Community Hospital. Our Cardiovascular Institute has board-certified cardiologists who have a wealth of experience diagnosing, treating, and preventing a plethora of heart problems. To make an appointment, call (330) 263-8100 or request an appointment online.