In the time of COVID-19, taking care of your heart health is more important than ever before. Especially patients with pre-existing heart diseases are at higher risk and need to access proper care and treatment.
Many of these patients have missed getting medical help during the lockdown because they are afraid of going to doctors or hospitals.
While it is still unsure what course this pandemic will take in the future, but it is important to understand what it takes to live a healthy heart life and seek help from doctors.
Here’s what you need to know about heart disease
Heart disease is used as an umbrella term to define a range of conditions affecting your heart health including cardiovascular diseases that can lead to heart attacks.
The different types of heart diseases are:
Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD)
Also called Coronary Artery Disease, it is caused due to clogging of the artery due to plaque deposits mainly from fats, cholesterol and other materials. This plaque build-up narrows the arteries leading to reduced flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Heart attacks and strokes
A heart attack is caused due to non-functioning of a segment of the heart muscle resulting from loss of blood supply. Chest pain and discomfort are some of the common symptoms with obesity and smoking the leading causes putting you at risk of a heart attack.
An arrhythmia is the irregular rate or rhythm of the heartbeat that is caused due to the changes in the heart tissues and/or electrical signals that control the heartbeat. This irregularity is generally caused by damage to the heart due to disease, injury or genetics.
Rheumatic Heart Diseases
This disease is caused due to chronic damage to the valves in the heart due to repeated cases of rheumatic fever.
Congenital Heart diseases (CHD)
It is the most common congenital disorders in newborns worldwide that refers to a defect in the formation of a baby’s heart at the time of birth. It is estimated to affect about 2,400 babies in Australia with about a quarter of these cases critical. This means they require heart surgery in the first year of their life.
Heart Disease: Know the symptoms
Here are some of the commonly seen signs and symptoms of heart diseases:
- Rapid breathing and heartbeat
- Chest pain and chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling around the eyes and in legs in case of a congenital heart condition
- Pain, numbness, discomfort and weakness in legs and arms where blood vessels are narrowed.
- Fainting or near fainting
- Fluttering in the chest
- Fever and skin rashes in case of a heart infection
It is in severe cases where the symptoms are more profound as it progresses with age. This makes age an important risk factor when diagnosing heart diseases.
Healthy Heart Tips
- Any disease is easier to treat if identified early. In the case of heart disease, people should educate themselves about their symptoms.
- Being able to recognise your symptoms will enable early detection and prevent negligence due to a lack of information
- Seek doctor’s assistance for any family history of heart diseases or existing diseases that can trigger heart attacks.
- The importance of quitting or reducing alcohol consumption, smoking and leading an active life needs to be emphasized from an early age.
- Reducing the intake of fats, sugar, salt and eating a balanced diet is crucial for a healthy heart.
- Regularly visit your GPs for health monitoring and undergo screenings as per your doctor’s advice.
When to see a doctor?
You should seek immediate assistance if you experience these regularly:
If you’re concerned about your heart health or developing a heart condition, visit our clinic for a comprehensive heart screening. Our doctors can also advise on steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart diseases.
To book appoitments with our doctors, contact our respective medical centres.