We hear the terms “heart failure” and “congestive heart failure.” Are they the same? While these two terms are often used interchangeably, they are not the same condition.
Heart failure refers to early stage weakening of the heart without the buildup of fluids. As damage to the heart progresses, it causes fluid to build up in the feet, arms, lungs, and other organs.
This fluid buildup is referred to as congestion throughout the body. When this occurs, the condition is known as congestive heart failure.
Heart failure does not mean that your heart has stopped. It means your heart is failing to do its job and is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. This can happen if your heart can’t fill up with enough blood. It can also happen when your heart is too weak to pump properly.
Heart Failure is Common and can be Life-Threatening.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 6 million adults in the United States have heart failure.
2544 US deaths each day (based on 2020 data)
American Heart Association, AHAjournals.org/StatUpdate
Heart failure may develop suddenly or over time as your heart gets weaker. Heart failure is usually caused by another underlying medical condition that damages your heart and may not cause symptoms right away. Eventually, you may feel tired or short of breath. You might also notice fluid buildup resulting in puffiness in your lower body, around your stomach, or your neck.
Unsure? See Us.
A cardiologist at Cooper and Inspira Cardiac Care can diagnose heart failure based on your medical and family history, a physical exam, and results from imaging and blood tests. Make an appointment if you suspect you, or someone you love, may have heart failure.
Heart failure is a serious condition that has no cure. However, healthy lifestyle changes, medicines, devices, and procedures can be preventative and help you maintain a higher quality of life. Catching heart failure early can make a huge difference in the prognosis — it means watching for symptoms and seeing your cardiologist at regular intervals.
Call to schedule your appointment today!