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Heart failure refers to a wide range of symptoms caused by abnormalities in the functioning of the heart. It may develop due to abnormalities in either the structure or functioning of a patient's heart, which, as a result, causes the heart to become inefficient in pumping blood to the rest of the body or in retrieving blood from the rest of the body.
Heart failure is divided into many different types, but when classified according to the duration of symptoms, heart failure falls into one of two categories:
Heart failure produces symptoms and other complications when the amount of blood being pumped from the heart is insufficient in meeting the demands of the rest of the body. Symptoms may also arise due to excess salt and fluid retention.
Common symptoms of heart failure include:
Many factors must be considered before a patient may begin heart failure treatment. The cause of the patient's heart failure, for example, must first be established, as well as the severity and duration of symptoms, and other co-existing conditions. After assessing such factors, the doctor will decide on the best treatment option for the patient. Heart failure treatment aims to reduce the severity of the patient's symptoms and increase life expectancy by focusing on suppressing or decelerating the development of changes in the structure or functioning of the heart, and also by protecting against other complications which may arise as the condition progresses.
Treatment options include: