Congestive Heart Failure
Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure means that your hear is unable to pump enough blood to meet the needs of your body. This will be cause by a buildup of fatty deposits in your major arteries that provide blood to your heart. Over time, high blood pressure or narrowed arteries force your heart to work hard, which causes it to become weakened and very stiff, not allowing it to pump vital blood to parts of your body that need it. Unfortunately, most of the conditions and causes that can lead to heart failure are not reversible without major surgery. But there are many effective medicines and lifestyle changes that can have a serious impact on the quality of your life if you are at risk for heart failure.
Heart failure is a lifelong, and chronic disease that requires constant management throughout your life. Many of the treatments available for heart failure however can greatly improve the quality of your life without having to make many sacrifices in your daily life. If chronic heart disease is not controlled at an early age, heart treatment for most people will include a combination of medications, devices and lifestyle changes that can be very effective.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. This class of drug is designed to help people that have heart failure to live longer and feel a great deal better. ACE inhibitors are a vasodilator, which is a type of drug that can widen blood vessels and lower blood pressure. This will result in increased and improved blood flow.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). These drugs have the same benefits as the ACE inhibitors mentioned above, but are an alternative for those that cant stand the side effects associated with ACE inhibitors.
Beta Blockers. These drugs have the effect of slowing your heart rate and can reduce your blood pressure. These drugs can also reduce the risk of heart murmurs or atypical heartbeats that can be a sign and cause of heart disease. In general, beta blockers improve all heart functions.
Surgery and medical devices
Coronary Bypass surgery. If your arteries become severely blocked and can contribute to heart failure, your doctor may recommend this kind of surgery. In this common procedure, a vein from your leg, chest or arm is used to replace a blocked vein in your heart. This allows your blood to flow to your hear more freely.
Heart valve repair or replacement. If there is a faulty heart valve that is causing heart failure, you may be able to replace or repair that valve with a corrective surgery. The surgeon will modify the existing valve in order to eliminate a slowed or backwards flow of blood. Sometimes a valve has to be completely replaced if valve repair is not an option. In valve replacement surgery, the defective valve is replaced by an artificial valve.
Heart transplant. Some people experience such a severe amount of heart failure that corrective surgery wouldn't be of any use. In this case, they may have to have their diseased heart replaced with a healthy hear that comes from a donor. These kind of heart transplants can dramatically increase the survival level and quality of life of the person who receives the donor heart. You should note however that people who are waiting for a donor heart typically have to wait for moths if nor years before a suitable donor is available. It should also be noted that these donor hearts are not a permanent fix, and may only last a decade or so.