Heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart cannot pump or fill with enough blood, which means the heart must work harder to deliver the blood to the body. The most common symptoms of heart failure are shortness of breath, swelling in the legs and feet, feeling tired quickly and a fast heart rate, weakness, giddiness.
The conditions which lead to heart failure, if treated in early stages can cause reversal of the condition. But unfortunately, once fully established the problem progresses persistently and may lead to fatal outcomes. With medications and lifestyle modification which include proper diet & exercise, these patients can remain stable for long period of time. As the weather becomes colder, there can be a surge in hospitalization related to heart failure.
ReasonsBecause of cold weather smog & pollutants settle on ground leading to chest infections & breathing problems. In winters the BP rises and coronary arteries shrinks leading to lack of blood supply. As sweating doesn’t occur, the extra water gets accumulated in lungs leading to failure symptoms. Due to weather change various respiratory infections are more common.
Preventive methodsPeople with weak hearts should be particularly careful during the winter season. Though they should continue to exercise regularly, they should modify their timings, so as to avoid extreme weather. Salt & water intake should be reduced as there is no loss to sweating. Regularly monitor BP and if detected high, should be properly treated. Avoiding infections is another important aspect and before the onset of the season, influenza & pneumonia vaccines should be taken so as to prevent chest infections. If symptoms of infections are seen they should be promptly treated with proper use of antibiotics. Don’t skip your prescribed medication. Don’t skip medicine when you are feeling better. Any side effects should be reported immediately to your treating doctor.