Common Heart Problems and How They Are Treated

Though thousands of people die of heart disease every year, many more survive and live long lives with proper treatment and care. Ignoring health problems until they become serious is not the way to live a long, healthy life. When heart problem symptoms are present, a person should contact their primary care physician for a medical check-up and a possible referral to a heart specialist.

Why Go To A Specialist?

Heart problems are serious and must have an accurate diagnosis and treatment for the best results. Heart or cardiology clinics have a collection of heart care specialists who do nothing but treat heart problems. Because they specialize in this type of health issue, they have more information and experience than a general practitioner. When the primary physician gives a patient referral to a heart specialist, health insurance will cover the treatment. The specialists at the clinic may specialize in general cardiology or in a specific heart condition. The physicians at a cardiovascular health clinic work together as a team to treat each patient.

5 Common Heart Diseases and Treatments

A person’s cardiovascular health can be affected by 5 common heart diseases. Each condition has a set of approved treatment plans. When a person is told they have heart disease it means that there is a disorder in their heart that must be treated. There are different types of heart problems that include:

  1. Congenital heart disease is a term that covers three conditions of the heart including septal defects or the two heart chambers having a hole between them, obstruction defects where the flow of blood in the heart is blocked, and cyanotic heart conditions where a defective heart causes a shortage of oxygen in different parts of the body.
  2. Arrhythmia is a condition where there is an irregular heartbeat. This condition is caused by tachycardia (too fast a heartbeat), bradycardia (too slow a heartbeat), premature ventricular contractions, or fibrillation which is an irregular heartbeat.
  3. Coronary artery disease involves damaged or diseased arteries caused by plaque build-up or other causes limiting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. This can cause dilated cardiomyopathy or heart muscle weakness and dilation.
  4. Myocardial infarction is another name for a heart attack or a coronary thrombosis which is caused by a blood flow interruption that causes heart muscle damage. This can be caused by a blood clot or an artery that spasms or suddenly narrows.
  5. Heart failure or congestive heart failure occurs when for some reason the heart is unable to pump blood around the body to meet its needs. This can be caused by high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.

Additional heart conditions include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is genetic, mitral regurgitation when the mitral valve does not close all the way, mitral valve prolapse which is when the mitral valve does not close all the way, and pulmonary stenosis caused by a pulmonary valve that is too tight. Each heart condition must be treated properly to avoid serious health implications or even death.

Treatments for heart conditions are tailored to the specific condition. and often involve a combination of treatments.

Medication can be very effective for heart conditions and they include four types of medications including statins to lower a person’s cholesterol, blood thinners to prevent blood clots, and beta-blockers, that can be used to treat heart failure heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or ACE medications are used in cases of heart failure and high blood pressure.¬†

Surgery is also used when necessary. The most common surgeries include:

Heart disease is often caused by factors in a person’s life including genetics, age, staying in one position for long periods of time such as at work, a diet including junk food, diabetes, long term obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure or cholesterol. Some risk factors can’t be changed but others can.

Some lifestyle changes a heart specialist might recommend include stop smoking, take medication to control high blood pressure or high cholesterol, get treatment for diabetes if it is present, exercise more, eat healthy foods, and maintain a healthy weight. Practice better hygiene and stay away from sick people. Wash hands often and brush and floss the teeth often. Learn how to manage stress and depression in healthy ways. Keep weight at a healthy level to cut down the chances of developing heart disease.

A combination of proper treatment at a cardiovascular clinic and a healthier lifestyle can help patients live with and overcome heart conditions. The professionals at Carolina Cardiology Associates believe in treating the whole patient. We will use a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery if necessary to give the patient a positive outcome. Patients who must have surgery are provided with cardiac rehabilitation. This involves exercises, emotional support, and lifestyle changes.

When a person is suffering from heart conditions, they want to know their doctors and surgeons are the best. Carolina Cardiology Associates are a medical group dedicated to treating patients with heart problems. Our dedicated physicians use the best methods and technology along with diagnostic testing to assure their patients of the best treatment results possible. We are also concerned about our patient’s long term health after surgery or treatment and we give them important information and needed support to move on with healthy lifestyles.

The experienced physicians at Carolina Cardiology Associates are committed to the health of every patient who walks through our doors. We understand the challenges of cardiovascular disease and will work with you to provide treatment, education, and a plan for the future to help you live your healthiest life.