Health and FitnessWhat Distinguishes a Heart Attack From Heart Failure?

What Distinguishes a Heart Attack From Heart Failure?

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and a reason for permanent disability. Still, millions of people are unaware they are at risk.

If you have a set of symptoms that last more than a few minutes and become worse as time passes, you may be experiencing heart failure rather than a heart attack. 

Knowing the warning signs is a key factor in getting prompt medical attention. It can be challenging to differentiate heart attack symptoms from those of heart failure to get the right treatment.

Read on to find out what distinguishes a heart attack from heart failure.

Heart Attack vs. Heart Failure

A heart attack and heart failure are two distinctly different conditions. But they are both serious and life-threatening. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries stops the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Symptoms include:

  • chest pain discomfort
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • dizziness

The blockage can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle. By doing immediate medical attention this will not sought out. On the other hand, heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened. It is when it’s unable to pump out enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Symptoms may include:

  • excessive fatigue
  • swollen legs and feet
  • difficulty breathing
  • increased heart rate

Unlike a heart attack, the damage from heart failure is not usually permanent. 

How Can They Be Treated?

Treatment for a heart attack typically includes medication to break up or dissolve the clot in the artery. Some people may also need surgery to clear out the blocked artery. Heart failure, on the other hand, can be managed with lifestyle changes such as:

  • diet
  • exercise
  • medications

In some cases, a doctor may recommend a device such as a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator. Those who are suffering from a severe heart attack will expect their work to be affected.

Because of that, one can claim for disability and may need the help of SSDI attorneys. There are distinct differences between the two conditions and understanding these differences is key to receiving the social security disability benefits you need.

Heart Attack and Heart Failure How to Prevent

To prevent an unhealthy heart, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol use, and avoiding smoking. These steps also help with preventing congestive heart failure. It is also important to control and manage:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • other cardiovascular risk factors

By doing so, there will be a lesser risk of having both heart attack and heart failure. Managing stress and getting regular check-ups are also important. If you have had a heart attack or heart failure, it is important to follow the advice of your doctor and take medications as prescribed.

Know What Distinguishes a Heart Attack From Heart Failure

We now understand that the symptoms, causes, and treatments of heart attack and heart failure differ significantly. Understanding what distinguishes a heart attack from heart failure can save your life and that of those you know and love. If you are in doubt, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately, as your health is your responsibility.

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