While right-sided heart failure—which is also referred to as pulmonary heart disease and cor pulmonale—isn’t technically considered an illness or medical condition, it’s a process that occurs as a direct result of other potentially serious health conditions. More commonly, right-sided heart failure is directly related to left-sided heart failure.
When the left ventricle in the heart is weakened and stiffens up, it’s no longer able to sufficiently pump blood throughout the body, causing fluid to revert back into the lungs. This places a great deal of insurmountable pressure on the right side of the heart to pump excess blood.
Since the blood flow is essentially moving in the opposite direction that it should be going, it ends up entering back into the main bloodstream and into the veins that are situated in the body’s extremities. This causes a great deal of inflammation in the legs and ankles.
As mentioned, there are a number of serious illnesses, pre-existing conditions, and other mitigating factors that can be considered causes of right-sided heart failure. To put this matter into perspective, the left and right ventricles within the heart are closely interconnected with one another. If something is amiss on one side of the heart, then the opposite side will inevitably be negatively impacted in the same way.
Due to the fact that the heart plays such an integral part in the survival of other organs and mechanisms throughout the body, any failures or health problems associated with it can directly or indirectly harm other functions within the body as well.
If the left ventricle becomes severely damaged to the extent that it ceases to function normally, then the right ventricle also ceases to function normally. Despite this connection, though, there are other potential risk factors that may lead to right-sided heart failure, including:
In some cases, even if the left ventricle initially appears to be in perfect working condition, the damage the right ventricle endures because of these medical conditions can eventually spread to the opposite side. All of these situations involve either partially or completely blocked blood flow in or out of the heart, which can inevitably cause the blood to regress backward.
Additionally, the following is a list of factors that may increase your risk of suffering right-sided heart failure:
As is typically the case with most other medical conditions or abnormalities, right-sided heart failure symptoms can be exhibited to varying degrees. They can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity and advancement of the disease that’s causing it. The following is a comprehensive list of right-sided heart failure signs and symptoms that you should look out for if you’re at risk:
If you or someone you know experiences a combination of any of these symptoms, then you should seek immediate medical attention as they could be potentially fatal complications of right-sided heart failure. After carefully examining and administering the appropriate medical tests, your doctor should be able to determine the root cause of the problem and treat it accordingly.
Although there’s no known cure for heart failure in general, there are ways of managing compartmental heart failure. In most cases, even the most severe outlooks can potentially be improved as long as you adhere to your doctor’s dietary and lifestyle instructions.
There are a number of tried and true techniques physicians can use to diagnose right-sided heart failure and other types of heart conditions. These methods are also instrumental in determining the correct and most appropriate treatment for right-sided heart failure depending on the patient’s medical history as well as the cause and severity of their condition.
Here are all of the methods doctors use to diagnose right-sided heart failure:
There are certain preventative measures that you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help lower your chances of suffering right-sided heart failure. These include the following:
Your doctor can make specific preventative recommendations based on your medical history and level of risk.
Right-sided heart failure prognosis largely depends on the type of condition that’s causing it as well as the intensity of the symptoms that are associated with it. Keep in mind that every patient may have a completely different experience and, in some cases, right-sided heart failure can be life-threatening. As long as you closely adhere to the instructions of your doctor and consistently schedule follow up appointments to check up on your condition, then you should be able to manage it.
A series of right-sided heart failure treatments are available to help offset some of the symptoms you might be experiencing. Mild cases may warrant the use of certain medications that can help support and maintain proper cardiac functions and even reduce the presence of certain symptoms.
A heart transplant or surgical insertion of a ventricular assist device may be necessary for more critical or life-threatening cases. However, most doctors will only recommend this if the medications they’ve prescribed aren’t working to their full potential.
Regardless of what the cause or symptoms are, right-sided heart failure is a very serious condition that could lead to even worse health problems if neglected or mismanaged for too long. Think of your heart as the epitome of your body’s most important mechanisms; if it stops working, then sufficient amounts of blood can’t be delivered to the rest of your body.
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