Shortness of breath is a common symptom that many people experience from time to time. While it may be a harmless, temporary issue in some cases, it can also be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue.
One such issue is heart and vascular health problems, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
It’s always wise to have a medical professional look into issues like shortness of breath. At Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates, our cardiovascular physician, Dr. Nader Chadda, encourages patients to get an evaluation to rule out heart problems when shortness of breath is recurrent or persistent. Keep reading to find out why.
Shortness of breath and heart health
Shortness of breath can be a symptom of heart trouble. Various heart issues can affect breathing, including heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and pulmonary edema. The earlier heart and vascular health issues are detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.
Ignoring shortness of breath as a symptom can delay diagnosis and treatment, potentially leading to more serious health consequences.
Risk factors for heart and vascular health problems
Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of heart and vascular health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and a family history of heart disease. If you have any of these risk factors and experience shortness of breath, it is important to have a heart checkup.
Your mental health is related to your heart and vascular health. Stress and anxiety can increase blood pressure and heart rate, putting additional strain on the heart and increasing the risk of heart and vascular health problems.
Use relaxation techniques, exercise, and other healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, seek help from a mental health professional. Taking care of your mental health can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart and vascular health problems.
Monitoring your symptoms
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart and vascular health problems or have experienced shortness of breath before, it is crucial to monitor your symptoms regularly. Changes in your symptoms, such as an increase in the frequency or intensity of shortness of breath, may mean your condition is getting worse. Keeping track of your symptoms can also help Dr. Chadda monitor the effectiveness of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments.
Get regular check-ups
Regular check-ups are crucial for detecting and managing heart problems. During these appointments, Dr. Chadda can monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other risk factors.
Dr. Chadda can also perform diagnostic tests if you are experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath or if you’ve experienced changes that are concerning.
The impact of lifestyle changes
Lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on heart health. Making healthy choices such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, and managing stress can reduce your risk of heart problems.
Small changes can make a big difference in reducing your risk of heart problems and improving your quality of life.
If you experience shortness of breath, Dr. Chadda can perform a thorough heart health evaluation, which may include blood tests, imaging tests, or an exercise stress test. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the shortness of breath.
If the results of your evaluation result in a diagnosis of a heart condition, treatment may include medications, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and, in some cases, surgery.
Preventing heart problems is always better than treating them. For anyone at risk of heart issues, speak with Dr. Chadda about the steps you can take to protect your heart health.
To get started, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chadda, by calling the office nearest you, and a scheduling coordinator will be happy to assist. We have offices in Land O’ Lakes, Brooksville, and Hudson, Florida. You can also request an appointment online. Don’t put off making your heart health a priority!