Diagnosing Heart Failure
The best way to spot a health problem as early as possible is to have regular check-ups with your primary care doctor. When diseases are found early, your chances for successful treatment and a cure are much greater.
Your doctor will also be aware of your family medical history as well as any unhealthy habits you may have like smoking or a poor diet. All of these factors matter when a doctor is considering next steps in your care.
Heart failure symptoms can range from mild to severe, or you may not have any symptoms. The symptoms may be ongoing or may come and go. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Build-up of fluid in the body (leg or ankle swelling)
- Bulging veins in your neck
- Constant coughing or wheezing
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue or weakness
- Unable to do normal activities
Heart failure can affect the right, left or both sides of your heart. It’s important to have the right tests to get a full picture of what is happening with your heart and to make an accurate diagnosis. It also helps the doctors understand what treatment would be the best treatment for you.To determine if you have heart failure, a doctor may perform the following tests or procedures:
- Cardiac catheterization
- Chest X-rays
- Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
- Echocardiography (Echo)
- Exercise stress test
- Physical exam and review medical history
If you have any of these heart failure symptoms, contact our cardiologists for testing and treatment.