- Edema in the feet, ankles, or legs
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough paired with pink or white phlegm
- Difficulty exercising
- Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
- Nausea and/or lack of appetite
- Decreased alertness and/or trouble concentrating
- Swelling of the abdomen
- An increase in need to urinate at night
- Chest pain, if caused by heart attack
- Chest pain
- Severe weakness or fainting
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Sudden and severe shortness of breath
- Coughing up pink mucus that is foamy
What causes CHF exacerbations in seniors?
Heart failure happens when the ventricles become unable to fill properly between each beat or are unable to pump enough blood throughout the body, whether from damage, weakness, or stiffness. This can happen to both ventricles or just one, each of which lead to different symptoms. Heart failure in the left ventricle, for instance, often leads to fluid backups in your lungs, whereas right ventricle failure can lead to fluid backups in the legs, feet, and abdomen.
Underlying conditions are often a cause of CHF in seniors, and unfortunately, many of them can be present without your knowledge. Some of the most common culprits include:
- High blood pressure
- Damage to the heart
- Congenial heart defects
- Coronary artery disease/heart attack
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Keep conditions such as hypertension and diabetes in check
- Manage stress effectively
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy weight
If left untreated
CHF can lead to a number of complications which will depend on the root cause and severity of your CHF, your health, your age, and a number of other factors. Kidney damage/failure is among the most serious; as CHF worsens, it can reduce blood flow to your kidneys, sometimes requiring dialysis. CHF can also lead to heart valve issues which can interrupt the proper flow of blood through your heart, liver damage, and arrhythmia. These complications can be life threatening if left untreated, sometimes leading to the necessity of a heart transplant or the need for a ventricular assist device.
The fortunate thing is that many people with CHF’s symptoms can improve with the right treatment. That’s where DispatchHealth comes in. As a mobile urgent care provider, we offer convenient, in-home medical care for simple to complex conditions and illnesses—including CHF. We’re standing by, ready to spring into action to treat your CHF exacerbation within the comfort of your own home. We offer most major forms of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offer an affordable flat rate for uninsured patients. We’ll also be sure to loop your primary care provider and/or cardiologist in after our visit to ensure continuity of care across your medical team. Requesting a visit is simple—simply give us a call, download our app, or use our website to receive the care you need for a CHF exacerbation on your doorstep within just a few hours.