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Symptoms in heart diseases

man chest painThe major symptoms presented in heart diseases are: lack of air (dyspnea), cough, chest pain (retrosternal with specific irradiation), palpitations, faintness, syncope, fever, digestive symptoms (loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, hiccups), abdominal pain, hoarseness (dysphonia), blurred vision, nosebleeds, headache in helmet, sleep disorders.

1. Dyspnea (lack of air)

It is a subjective sensation of breathlessness which may appear during effort (progressive), rest (permanent or not), with paroxysmal character (sudden onset and end). The symptom occurs in left ventricle conditions, mitral stenosis, heart failure, congenital heart disease with right-to-left shunt. It is produced by increased pressure in the pulmonary capillaries which will lead to decreased lung compliance. Orthopnea consists of sensation of breathlessness in horizontal position (decubitus).
Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea occurs during the night, awakes the patient from sleep and improves after arising in the sitting position. Patient has cold skin, sweaty, cyanotic.
If the pressure in the pulmonary capillaries increases too high can lead to pulmonary edema.

2. Cough

It’s a respiratory symptom also present in heart diseases. Appears as a dry cough in interstitial hyperemia from lung stasis, in mediastinal compression caused by an aneurysm of the aorta or  increased left atrium. Cough with expectoration occurs in acute pulmonary edema. The cough is with blood in pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary infarction, ruptured aortic aneurysm into the trachea.

chest pain in heart diseases angina pectoris3. Chest pain

Chest pain is localized in the lower third of the sternum and radiates on the left shoulder and left arm. Appears during effort, but can also occur spontaneously. It’s a very intense pain with pressing, oppression, burning character lasting from 1 minute to 10-15 minutes. The pain can be relieved after administration of nitroglycerin or rest. If it takes more than 15 minutes suggests the possibility of an acute myocardial infarction. Predisposing factors for angina are: effort, stress, smoking, sudden contact with cold.
The pain of pericarditis is less intense, prolonged, localized precordial, with continuing character.
The functional pain is found in cardiac neurosis, is a fixed point of pain, often under the nipple, pointed with the fingers and decreases after local compression. Is accompanied by tachycardia, sigh, agitation, panic.

4. Palpitations

Subjective symptoms consisting of feeling that heart stops, stumbling, fluttering, escape (misfires).
Faintness – syncope may occur during exercise (by decreasing cardiac output), spontaneous (caused by rhythm disturbances, arrhythmias), orthostatic hypotension, atrial mixoma.
Fever can exist as a complication of the disease that has taken heart: pneumonia, septicemia.
Dysphagia, hiccups, dysphonia (hoarseness) may be caused by compression due to an enlarged left atrium.
Visual disturbances: blurred vision in hypotension, “flies” (black dots) in hypertension. Sudden vision problems could be caused by embolic stroke or neurological cause.
Nosebleeds – (blood flow through the nose) is often associated with pressure jumps or because of an overdose of anticoagulants.
Headache in the morning occurs in hypertension, in the lateral side in temporal arteritis, diffuse headache in chronic pulmonary heart due to hypoxia.

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