Urgent Care for Heart Disease
The heart is responsible for supplying blood to every cell in the body, making it one of the most important organs you have. Men and women of any age can develop heart disease or other problems with the heart, so it is important to get regular physical examinations and seek emergency care if you experience chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease. Learning about heart problems can help you protect yourself and your loved ones from serious complications.
Coronary Heart Disease
When most people refer to heart disease, they are referring to coronary heart disease. Cholesterol, calcium, fat, and other substances form a waxy substance called plaque, which can build up on the walls of your arteries.
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Plaque deposits limit blood flow and increase the risk of heart attack and other serious complications. A plaque deposit can also rupture, causing a blood clot that completely blocks blood flow in the affected artery. If you experience chest pains, jaw pain, pain in your left arm, or any other signs or symptoms of heart attack, seek immediate medical attention.
Cardiomyopathy affects the heart muscle, making it difficult for the heart to maintain a normal rhythm and pump blood. This disease occurs when the heart muscle thickens or becomes rigid. As the heart gets weaker, a person with cardiomyopathy is at risk for developing heart rhythm problems or heart failure. This disease can be inherited from family members, or it can be acquired later in life. If you experience fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain after exertion, make an appointment to see one of our physicians.
Heart Rhythm Disorders
The heart has an electrical system to regulate your heartbeat. Problems with this electrical system can cause several heart rhythm disorders. Atrial fibrillation causes a rapid, irregular heartbeat that can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling in the hands or feet, or increased risk of stroke. In some people with atrial fibrillation, the heart beats four times faster than it should. Atrial flutter also causes a rapid heartbeat, but it does not cause an irregular heartbeat. Sick sinus syndrome occurs when the sinus node of the heart does not work properly. The sinus node is known as a “natural pacemaker,” so problems with this part of the heart can cause the heart to beat too slow or too fast. These disorders occur in the upper chambers – or atria – of the heart.
Some heart rhythm problems occur in the ventricles, or the lower chambers of the heart. One of the most serious is ventricular tachycardia. This condition can cause the heart to beat very fast and develop a chaotic rhythm. Ventricular tachycardia often occurs in people who have other heart diseases, but it can also develop in people without heart problems. Ventricular fibrillation also causes a fast, chaotic heartbeat. This condition can lead to cardiac arrest, so it is important to seek medical treatment if you experience any symptoms. These symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, dizziness, and rapid heartbeat.
If you have experienced chest pains or other symptoms of heart problems, it is important to determine the cause and get treated right away. Schedule an appointment at Physicians Now, where one of our friendly providers will take your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and determine the best way to help you.
If you are experiencing chest pains, call your health care professional or 911 immediately.