Why does heart failure cause breathing difficulties? This article tells you the answer

Heartbreak, upset, many of the words we use to describe discomfort have to do with the heart. Our heart can support our lifelong activities, it may seem strong, but it is also fragile enough that we need to take care of it. Heart failure, referred to as “heart failure”, is the end-stage manifestation of cardiovascular disease and the most important cause of death. It is also the ultimate danger signal from the heart. Heart failure not only brings death to patients, but also affects the quality of life of patients.

1. Why does heart failure have difficulty breathing?

In the early stage of heart failure, patients will experience dyspnea after exercise, that is, exertional dyspnea, and the amount of exercise that causes dyspnea will decrease with the aggravation of heart failure. With the aggravation of the disease, some patients will have aggravated breathing difficulties at night, indicating that they cannot lie flat after falling asleep. Eventually, it may progress to acute pulmonary edema with coughing up pink, foamy sputum. The development of this series of symptoms will undoubtedly bring serious trouble to the daily life of patients. When heart failure occurs, the ejection function of the left ventricle is impaired. This dysfunction affects its pressure, resulting in blocked blood delivery from the left atrium to the left ventricle during diastole. This effect increases gradually, causing obstruction of blood delivery from the pulmonary veins to the left atrium, which then leads to lung congestion. The lung is the organ responsible for gas exchange. When the capillary backflow of the lung is blocked and congestion occurs, gas exchange is restricted due to various reasons, so the common difficulty in breathing in patients with heart failure occurs.

2. So, why does nighttime dyspnea worsen in patients with heart failure?

Mainly because the body is in a supine position when falling asleep at night, and like the flow of water in a bottle that has been lowered, blood is redistributed, increasing blood flow to the lungs; in this position, the diaphragm, which is the thoracic and abdominal cavities, is lifted demarcation line. Changes in the position of the diaphragm reduce thoracic volume and lung capacity, and in addition, increased nighttime vagal tone and bronchiolar constriction aggravate the patient’s dyspnea.

Controlling risk factors for heart failure and treating asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction can help delay or prevent the onset of heart failure. The above risk factors include hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity, smoking, drinking, etc. These are preventable and controllable factors for the patients themselves. Therefore, patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes must pay attention to drug treatment in accordance with the doctor’s advice.

Finally, lifestyle improvements are beneficial for most chronic diseases, obesity, smoking and drinking cessation, and it goes without saying. I would like to remind everyone that the prevention and treatment of heart failure should start early, and any signal should not be ignored.

[Disclaimer: The materials and pictures used in this article are from the Internet and literature, and are only used for the popularization of medical knowledge. If there is any infringement, please contact to delete]