Sleep And Congestive Heart Failure
Damage to the heart that hurts its ability to pump blood is called congestive heart failure . Sleep disorders can be both a cause and an effect of CHF. The low oxygen levels and high blood pressure related to obstructive sleep apnea can cause the kind of damage that leads to CHF. The heart muscle is unable to handle the stress caused by the OSA. People who have CHF from another cause will see it get worse if they then develop sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is treated, however, patients with CHF will see their heart function improve.
About 40% of people with CHF have a sleep disorder called central sleep apnea . CSA occurs when the brain fails to tell the lungs to breathe. As this signal is lost, the lungs do not take in the oxygen that your body needs. This happens most often as people are falling asleep. CSA also causes people to wake up many times in the night. When they wake up, their heart rate and blood pressure both rise.
The low levels of oxygen that result from CSA are very harmful. The result is that CSA may worsen heart failure. In return, the heart failure may promote CSA. This causes a horrible cycle of declining heart function. Properly treating the heart failure is the best way to prevent CSA. If CSA still develops, there are treatments that can be used to keep it from occurring.
Are Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Different
Although most women and men report symptoms of chest pain with a heart attack, women are slightly more likely than men to report unusual symptoms. More vague or less typical “heart” symptoms reported in women include:
- Upper back or shoulder pain.
- Jaw pain or pain spreading to the jaw.
- Pressure or pain in the center of the chest.
- Light headedness.
- Pain that spreads to the arm.
- Unusual fatigue for several days.
If you experience any of these symptoms of a heart attack, call for emergency assistance . Don’t wait for your symptoms to “go away.” Early recognition and treatment of a heart attack can reduce the risk of heart damage. Even if you’re not sure your symptoms are a heart attack, get it checked.
The best time to treat a heart attack is within one hour of the onset of the first symptoms. Waiting just a couple hours for medical help may change your treatment options, increase the amount of damage to your heart muscle and reduce your chance of survival.
How Is A Heart Attack Treated
Heart attack treatment begins immediately. The goal of treatment is to treat you quickly and limit heart muscle damage.
The goals of medication therapy are to break up or prevent blood clots, prevent platelets from gathering and sticking to the plaque, stabilize the plaque, and prevent further ischemia. These medications must be given as soon as possible to decrease the amount of damage to the heart muscle. The longer the delay in starting these drugs, the more damage that occurs and the less benefit they can provide.
Thrombolytic medications are used to break up clots blocking the artery
Medications given right after the start of a heart attack may include:
- Other antiplatelet drugs
- Any combination of the above
Other drugs, given during or after a heart attack lessen your heart’s work, improve the functioning of the heart, widen or dilate your blood vessels, decrease your pain, and guard against any life-threatening heart rhythms. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications for you.
During or shortly after a heart attack, you may go to the cardiac catheterization laboratory to directly evaluate the status of your heart, arteries and the amount of heart damage. In some cases, procedures are used to open up your narrowed or blocked arteries. These procedures may be combined with thrombolytic therapy to open up the narrowed arteries, as well as to break up any clots that are blocking them.
Coronary artery bypass surgery
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Tips For Heart Attack Prevention
The goal after your heart attack is to keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of having another heart attack. Take your medications as directed, make healthy lifestyle changes, see your doctor for regular heart checkups, and consider a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Why do I need to take drugs after a heart attack?
You might take certain drugs after a heart attack to:
- Prevent blood clots
Can You Have Another Heart Attack
After having a heart attack, you are at risk of having another one. Many people do not recognise their next heart attack, as it may feel different to the first one.
If you think you may be having a heart attack and you have already had one:
- Stop and rest. Tell someone how you feel
- If you take angina medication and the symptoms have not been relieved within 10 minutes, or if the symptoms are severe or getting worse,
- Dial 111 and ask for an ambulance. If instructed and aspirin is available, take one.
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Are There Other Causes Of Heart Attack Besides Blockage
Sometimes a coronary artery temporarily contracts or goes into spasm. When this happens the artery narrows, and blood flow to part of the heart muscle decreases or stops.
The causes of spasms are unclear. A spasm can occur in normal-appearing blood vessels as well as in vessels partly blocked by atherosclerosis. A severe spasm can cause a heart attack.
Another rare cause of heart attack is spontaneous coronary artery dissection, which is a spontaneous tearing of the coronary artery wall.
Prevention Of Heart Attacks
You can help prevent a heart attack by knowing your risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack and taking action to lower those risks. Even if youve already had a heart attack or are told that your chances of having a heart attack are high, you can still lower your risk, most likely by making a few lifestyle changes that promote better health.
- Dont smoke. Your doctor may recommend methods for quitting, including nicotine replacement.
- Eat a diet low in fat, cholesterol and salt.
- See your doctor regularly for blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring.
- Pursue a program of moderate, regular aerobic exercise. People over age 50 who have led a sedentary lifestyle should check with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Your doctor may advise you to take a low dose of aspirin regularly. Aspirin reduces the tendency for the blood to clot, thereby decreasing the risk of heart attack. However, such a regimen should only be initiated under a doctors expressed recommendation.
- Women at or approaching menopause should discuss the possible cardio-protective benefits of estrogen replacement therapy with their doctor.
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What Happens During A Heart Attack
During a heart attack, blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked. This is most commonly due to coronary artery disease.
Discover how the heart works, how risk factors contribute to a heart attack and the importance of reducing your risk factors.
After having a heart attack treated in hospital, it’s easy to think that the problem has been dealt with – the heart attack is over and done with. However, a heart attack is usually a symptom of an underlying heart health problem like coronary artery disease .
Similarities Differences And Links Between Afib And Anxiety Attacks
So many common symptoms of atrial fibrillation resemble classic anxiety symptoms that characterize panic attacks: heart palpitations, chest pain, muscle tension, and sweaty palms that come with an adrenaline rush are good examples.
Luckily, these symptoms are generally short-lived, whether its an AFib episode or a panic attack. However, in order to treat your body properly and sidestep potential complications down the road, its important to distinguish the two conditions.
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Sleep And High Blood Pressure
Several studies have shown that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at a much greater risk of having high blood pressure. OSA causes your oxygen level to drop. Your heart beats faster due to the lack of oxygen. This causes your blood pressure to rise. Over time, this can lead to an ongoing increase in blood pressure. It is important to treat high blood pressure since it is a proven cause of other forms of cardiovascular disease. This includes heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
But treating high blood pressure may not be enough. When high blood pressure does not respond well to treatment, it is often due to the presence of untreated sleep apnea. Once the OSA is treated, then the high blood pressure tends to improve as well. It is vital for your doctor to determine if a sleep disorder such as OSA is a factor in your high blood pressure.
Your Maximum Heart Rate
The rate at which your heart is beating when it is working its hardest to meet your body’s oxygen needs is your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate plays a major role in setting your aerobic capacitythe amount of oxygen you are able to consume. Several large observational studies have indicated that a high aerobic capacity is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and death. And a small controlled trial demonstrated that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who raised their aerobic capacity also improved their performance on tests of memory and reasoning.
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Why Are Women At Risk Of Heart Attack
Many women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable the image of the elephant comes to mind but in fact they can be subtler and sometimes confusing.
You could feel so short of breath, as though you ran a marathon, but you haven’t made a move, Goldberg said.
Some women experiencing a heart attack describe upper back pressure that feels like squeezing or a rope being tied around them, Goldberg said. Dizziness, lightheadedness or actually fainting are other symptoms to look for.
Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 9-1-1, Goldberg said. But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 9-1-1.
Can Some Medical Conditions Affect The Heart Rate During A Heart Attack
According to the American Heart Association, tachycardia is where a persons heart rate is too fast for their age and overall physical condition. During a heart attack, their heart rate will likely remain elevated.
Bradycardia causes a slower heart rate. People with bradycardia or other diseases of the electrical system may not experience an increased heart rate during a heart attack.
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Returning To Normal Activities
After a heart attack, most people who dont have chest pain or discomfort or other problems can safely return to most of their normal activities within a few weeks. Most can begin walking right away.
Sexual activity also can begin within a few weeks for most patients. Talk with your doctor about a safe schedule for returning to your normal routine.
If allowed by state law, driving usually can begin within a week for most patients who dont have chest pain or discomfort or other disabling problems. Each state has rules about driving a motor vehicle following a serious illness. People who have complications shouldnt drive until their symptoms have been stable for a few weeks.
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Myth: If My Heart Rate Is Slow It Means I Have A Weak Heart
Not necessarily. A slow heart rate can be a sign that youre healthy and fit. An athletes heart muscle is in better shape, so it doesnt have to work as hard to keep up a steady beat.
In general, Patel says, slow rates are only a problem if you also pass out, feel dizzy, are short of breath, or have chest pain. See your doctor if you have any of those symptoms.
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Treatment For A Heart Attack
The goal of treatment for a heart attack is to relieve pain, preserve the heart muscle function, and prevent death.
Treatment in the emergency department may include:
- Intravenous therapy, such as nitroglycerin and morphine
- Continuous monitoring of the heart and vital signs
- Oxygen therapy to improve oxygenation to the damaged heart muscle
- Pain medicine to decrease pain. This, in turn, decreases the workload of the heart. The oxygen demand of the heart decreases.
- Cardiac medicine such as beta-blockers to promote blood flow to the heart, improve the blood supply, prevent arrhythmias, and decrease heart rate and blood pressure
- Fibrinolytic therapy. This is the intravenous infusion of a medicine that dissolves the blood clot, restoring blood flow.
- Antithrombin or antiplatelet therapy with aspirin or clopidogrel. This is used to prevent further blood clotting.
- Antihyperlipidemics. These medicines lower lipids in the blood, particularly low density lipid cholesterol. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic medicines. They include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin. Bile acid sequestrantscolesevelam, cholestyramine, and colestipoland nicotinic acid are two other types of medicines that may be used to lower cholesterol levels.
You may need other procedures to restore blood flow to the heart. Those procedures are described below.
Is A High Heart Rate A Sign Of A Heart Attack
An elevated heart rate is not a reliable sign of a heart attack.
There are three types of heart attack, each of which affect heart rate differently. The three types are:
- ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction
- non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction
- coronary artery spasm
STEMI can be the most severe form of heart attack. It typically causes an elevated heart rate during the event but certain types of STEMIs can cause damage to the electrical system of the heart and slow the heart rate. NSTEMI heart attacks are usually less damaging to the heart, but may also increase the heart rate. Sometimes the NSTEMI is a result of fast heart rate as a result of some other underlying issue with a fixed blockage of the coronary arteries.
Coronary artery spasms occur when the artery walls tighten and restrict blood flow to the heart. They can also affect the heart rate.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
If you have never had heart palpitations before, see your provider.
- Loss of alertness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- You often feel extra heartbeats .
- You have risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
- You have new or different heart palpitations.
- Your pulse is more than 100 beats per minute .
- You have related symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling faint, or loss of consciousness.
Returning Heart Rate To Normal
Many people can eventually learn how to ground themselves during an attack, or right before they experience another. If youve had more than one panic attack, think about what happens right before your symptoms show up. If you are able to identify when you are about to have a panic attack, it will be easier for you to get yourself back to a calmer state instead of trying to do so during the attack. Here are a few exercises to try before, during or after a panic attack has occurred:
- Progressive muscle relaxation: This provides an easy to learn exercise that helps you get connected to your body
- Guided imagery relaxation exercise: This an audio exercise where an instructor helps lead you to a more peaceful state of mind.
- Deep breathing exercises: These offer a quick way to relax and slow down your heart rate.
If you see a doctor, he or she may also prescribe:
- SSRIs: These are otherwise known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and they are used to treat anxiety based disorders, as well as depressive disorders.
- SNRIs: Also known as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, these meds are used to treat anxiety and depressive disorders.
- Benzodiazepines: These are sedatives and can typically induce a calming effect within 15 to 30 minutes.
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Your Heart Rate Isnt Always Predictable
How this cardiac event affects the heart rate isnt always predictable.
Certain medications may slow your heart rate
For example, if youre on a medication that slows your heart rate, such as a beta-blocker for heart disease, your heart rate may remain slow during a heart attack. Or if you have a type of heart rhythm disturbance called bradycardia, in which your heart rate is perpetually slower than normal, a heart attack may do nothing to increase the rate.
There are certain types of heart attacks that can lead to an abnormal slowing of the heart rate because they affect the electrical tissue cells of the heart.
Tachycardia may speed your heart rate
On the other hand, if you have tachycardia, in which your heart always or frequently beats abnormally fast, then that pattern could continue during a heart attack. Or, certain types of heart attacks can cause the heart rate to increase.
Finally, if you have some other condition thats causing your heart to beat fast, such as sepsis or infection, then it could be causing the stress on your heart rather than being a result of the blockage to blood flow.
Many people live with tachycardia and have no other symptoms or complications. However, if you consistently have a rapid resting heart rate, you should absolutely have your cardiovascular health evaluated.
- a vague sense of impending doom
If you think you or a loved one may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.