The sooner that you or your loved one can recognize the symptoms of heart failure, the easier it is for you to get her the medical treatment that she needs.
Your loved one might have shortness of breath when she’s engaging in physical activity but it can also happen when she’s resting. If your loved one has trouble breathing when she’s lying in bed, this can also be a sign of heart failure. Chronic coughing or wheezing that doesn’t seem to have a cause and won’t go away can also be a sign.
Swelling in Extremities
Edema is the medical term for the swelling your loved one might experience in her lower legs, feet, and ankles. Your loved one might also experience edema in her abdomen or arms, too. This happens because your loved one’s circulatory system has to work too hard to get blood to flow properly throughout her body.
Impaired or Confused Thinking
Your loved one might find herself confused or having trouble thinking about topics she’s normally able to think about easily. This symptom might come and go depending on what your loved one has eaten and how well her circulatory system is working.
If your loved one is experiencing edema in her abdomen, she might feel full even when she isn’t eating or she might feel a bit nauseated. Your loved one’s digestive system can also take a bit of a hit because the circulatory system isn’t able to get as much blood to flow to the area.
Heart failure can make your loved one extremely tired. Her body is working much harder than it should have to work and that takes a toll. You might find that your loved one relies more on you or elderly care providers than she normally does because it’s difficult for her to keep up with her normal activities.
Increased Heart Rate
Your loved one might let you know that she’s experiencing a racing heartbeat occasionally. This can happen sometimes because your loved one’s heart might compensate for not being able to pump as well by trying to pump faster. This could happen periodically or she might start to experience a rapid heartbeat more often.
If you notice more than one of these types of symptoms in your loved one, it’s worth having your loved one’s doctor take a second look to rule out heart failure.