Cardiovascular Diseases and Conditions

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The board-certified medical team at VeinGuard Heart & Vascular Center are exceptionally qualified to conduct cardiac testing and provide treatments for the following heart conditions:

Coronary Artery Disease

The coronary artery is the major blood vessel that circulates blood to all parts of the heart. Age, illness, or trauma can damage the coronary artery. Additionally, fat and cholesterol can accumulate on the walls of the artery and form plaque. This plaque can block the artery completely and prevent blood flow into the heart. 

Usually, coronary artery disease develops over the span of many years, but some symptoms you may notice early on are: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Chest pain

Mitral Valve Prolapse

The mitral valve is an important valve in the heart. The condition occurs when one of the flaps of the valve bulges and ceases to close properly. This may cause the blood to leak into the upper chamber or atrium. 

Symptoms that might indicate mitral valve prolapse are: 

  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness 
  • Fatigue
  • A racing heart

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart defects are complications that a person is born with. Some common ones are the following:

  • Septal defect: A hole in the walls of the heart
  • Valve defects: A damage or abnormal development in the heart valves
  • Patent ductus arteriosus: A hole in the aorta
  • Truncus arteriosus: A defect where the infant has just one fused artery instead of the two separate pulmonary arteries and aorta
  • Ventricular defects: A condition where the chambers or valves of the heart or the aorta are incorrectly developed

Usually, fetal tests before birth can detect some conditions. Plus, doctors conduct postnatal tests as well, to ascertain possible congenital defects. 

Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia involves irregular heartbeats. The heart usually beats between 60 and 100 times per minute in healthy individuals, but if a person is arrhythmic, his/her heartbeats will be either above or below this range. This ailment occurs due to cardiac conditions, smoking, or medications and is characterized by a fluttering heartbeat, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

Heart Attack

Heart attacks are caused when blood flow to the heart is blocked or stopped. This happens when there’s a clot in the coronary artery. Heart attack victims usually experience the following symptoms before an attack: 

  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Shooting pains in the arms, back, jaw, and stomach
  • Sweating 
  • Nausea
  • Bluish lips

Heart Failure

The heart is said to be in failure when it cannot perform to the optimal. The heart loses the ability to pump the required amount of blood and starts to get weaker. Soon, water and salt start to build-up around the heart, creating more problems. This is called congestive heart failure. 

Symptoms include: 

  • Dry cough when lying down
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Lung congestion 
  • Dizziness
  • Fluid build-up around ankles
  • Wheezing

Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrests occur when the heart stops beating. This usually happens because of problems or irregularities with heartbeats. Cardiac arrests can stop blood circulation to the rest of the body and may cause a stroke or other fatal conditions. It’s thus imperative that the heart is restarted immediately. 

Signs of cardiac arrest are: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

Heart Valve Disease

The heart has four valves that open and close in order to allow proper circulation, but when these valves start to weaken or malfunction or get damaged, blood circulation in the body gets disrupted. This condition is called heart valve disease. 

You can recognize this condition through the following symptoms: 

  • Abnormal heart murmur
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Chest pain 
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Fatigue

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a condition when the heart muscles get extremely weak and slowly become unable to pump enough blood. It may occur if the heart muscles become too stiff to pump blood or if the heart gets too enlarged and is unable to pump blood. It’s also possible when the ventricles thicken abnormally. 

Cardiomyopathy can cause heart failure in the patient. So it is vital to pay attention to the following signs: 

  • Pressure on the chest
  • Pounding or fluttering heartbeats
  • Abdominal bloating 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Exerted breathing

Pericarditis

The pericardium refers to the sack-like organ that covers the heart and the roots of the major blood vessels leading out of the heart. 

Pericarditis is a disease where the pericardium gets inflamed or damaged due to an autoimmune disease, an infection, or a cardiovascular condition. You may be diagnosed with pericarditis if you exhibit the following symptoms: 

  • Chest pain and intense pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hacking coughs or hiccoughs
  • Loss of consciousness

Rheumatic Heart Disease

This is a heart condition that occurs if you are afflicted with rheumatic fever. The fever is caused due to an infection by Group A streptococcus bacteria. 

Rheumatic fever damages the valves of the heart and causes difficulties in blood circulation. The infection causes the heart valves to inflame and develop tissue scarring. These scars may become blockages and stop blood flow. 

Symptoms of rheumatic heart disease are: 

  • Irregular heart murmur
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Swelling in the legs and face

Stroke

A stroke is a serious cardiovascular condition where insufficient blood flows to the brain and can result in a loss of consciousness, paralysis, numbness in the face and limbs, and more. This condition usually occurs when there’s a large clot in the blood vessels that prevent oxygenated blood from reaching the brain. Strokes can also occur when arteries in the brain hemorrhage, i.e., rupture. 

Symptoms of stroke are: 

  • Droopiness in the face 
  • Downward drift in the arms
  • Slurring of speech 
  • Sudden loss of energy 
  • Confusion about whereabouts and surroundings 
  • Sudden blurriness or loss of vision 
  • Severe headaches

Marfan Syndrome

The aorta is one of the most important vessels of the body. If a person has Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, the aorta may enlarge to an abnormal size and rupture. This condition may be fatal. Marfan syndrome can also lead to small tears in the aorta and impact circulation in the body.

This syndrome is usually genetic and congenital. However, it’s usually diagnosable after the age of 30.

Vascular Disease

Vascular disease refers to the conditions that affect blood vessels as a whole, not just the cardiac system. However, the three vascular diseases that can lead to serious cardiac diseases are: 

  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis 
  • Pulmonary embolism

The qualified and experienced vascular doctors at our Fairfax VA cardiovascular center can diagnose and treat these vascular diseases helping you regain your quality of life. Contact us for more information.

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