The term “heart failure” can be scary because it sounds like your heart has stopped working, but that’s not true. What heart failure means is that your heart can’t pump blood the way it’s supposed to because your heart muscle has become weak or stiff.
When that happens, your body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. That can cause symptoms like being tired and short of breath. Sometimes heart failure can lead to a buildup of fluid in your body or lungs, which is called congestive heart failure, or CHF. Most people who develop CHF had, or still have, another heart condition. The most common conditions that can lead to CHF are high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and a past heart attack.
The treatments for CHF can help your heart work better and improve your symptoms, helping you live a full and active life. Treatments may include taking new medication, making changes to medication you’re already taking, and making some lifestyle changes, such as changes in diet and exercise. Living with CHF can be a challenge, but you’re not alone. Millions of people are living with CHF today, and your care team is here to support and guide you.