Table of contents:
Serious heart disease happens when the heart begins to lose its functional capacity due to some disease or congenital alteration. Severe heart diseases can be classified into:
- Chronic severe heart disease, which is characterized by progressive loss of functional capacity of the heart;
- Acute severe heart disease, which has a rapid evolution, leading to a sudden decrease in heart functions;
- Severe terminal heart disease, in which the heart cannot perform its functions properly, reducing the person's life expectancy. Normally, those who have severe terminal heart disease do not respond to drug treatment and are not candidates for surgery to correct the cardiac alteration, most of the time, a heart transplant is performed.
Severe heart diseases can result in great disability in the patient's personal and professional life, in addition to physical and emotional exhaustion. Congenital heart disease is one of the main types of severe heart disease and is characterized by a defect in the formation of the heart still inside the mother's belly that can lead to impaired cardiac function. Learn more about congenital heart disease.
In addition, congestive heart failure, arterial hypertension, coronary insufficiency and complex arrhythmias are diseases that can be associated with severe heart disease or even worsen the condition, which can lead to severe terminal heart disease, for example.
Symptoms related to severe heart disease depend on the degree of disability of the heart, which can be:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Chest pain;
- Fainting, disorientation, or frequent sleepiness;
- Fatigue after small efforts;
- Heart palpitations;
- Difficulty sleeping lying down;
- Night Cough;
- Swelling of the lower limbs.
Severe heart disease can also bring great physical limitations, in the development of their day-to-day functions and at work, depending on the type and severity of the disease that is associated. Therefore, the government grants benefits to people with diagnosed severe heart disease, as it can be a limiting disease. For retirement purposes, severe heart disease is considered to be cases in which the cardiac function assessed by the transthoracic echocardiogram is below 40%.
The diagnosis of severe heart diseases is made by the cardiologist through the evaluation of the patient's clinical history, in addition to tests, such as electrocardiogram and echocardiogram at rest and in motion, exercise stress test, chest X-ray and angiography, by example.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for severe heart disease depends on the cause and is determined by the cardiologist, and can be done through:
- Use of medication, most often venous;
- Intra-aortic balloon placement;
- Surgery to correct the cardiac alteration.
In the most severe cases, a heart transplant may be recommended, which is more indicated in the case of people with severe terminal heart diseases, in which, due to the loss of cardiac function, the person's life expectancy gets compromised. Learn about heart transplantation and recovery.