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The skilled cardiologists at Middle Georgia Heart treat and manage a full range of heart conditions, helping patients restore their heart health and add years to their lives. We’re committed to providing compassionate, expert cardiovascular care to each person who walks through our doors.

While we work with patients facing any heart issue, we often see three significant conditions: congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and coronary artery disease. Discover more about these conditions and how Middle Georgia Heart can help you treat and manage your heart should you develop these issues.

Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a heart condition that negatively impacts not just your heart muscle but your whole body. It’s caused when your heart muscle loses its ability to sufficiently pump blood to the rest of the body, producing insufficient blood levels for all other organs and regions of the body.

Causes of Congestive Heart Failure

Patients who develop congestive heart failure first experience other medical complications or conditions that lead to the weakening of their heart. These issues include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity

Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure

The conditions that lead to congestive heart failure each cause strain on either the heart or the heart’s vessels and arteries, which increase the work your heart has to do to keep up with production. An overworked heart will start to wear down and will eventually begin to fail. Once this occurs, you’ll notice a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Concentration issues
  • Excessive coughing or wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to exercise
  • Increased need to urinate, especially at night
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortened breaths
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Weight gain

One tell-tale sign of congestive heart failure, which ties into many of the above-mentioned symptoms, is the development of edema, or excessive fluid within the body. When the heart fails to pump adequate amounts of blood, pressure in the vessels develops, forcing fluids out of the vessels and into the surrounding tissue. The fluid fills the tissues up and causes swelling.

The most common and least dangerous area affected by edema is the lower body, or the legs and feet. Edema becomes a medical emergency when the area around the lungs fill up, preventing you from breathing adequately. Signs of this condition, known as pulmonary edema, are excessive coughing and wheezing.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AFib), a type of arrhythmia, is a pumping issue that occurs when something forces the heart to beat at an irregular pace. Your heartbeat occurs when the heart’s upper and lower chambers contract and usher your blood through the heart and out to the body. The chambers operate through electrical pulses that dictate when the contractions will occur. If these pulses are disrupted, your heartbeat can become irregular, or arrhythmic.

AFib, specifically, is when the atria, or the upper chambers, malfunction and throw the rest of the pumping process off.

Causes of AFib

There are several issues that can lead to AFib, including:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Coronary artery disease
  • History of heart attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Sleep apnea

While they aren’t causes, smoking and alcohol consumption lead to an increased risk of developing AFib.

Symptoms of AFib

Atrial fibrillation causes blood to pool in the lower chambers of your heart and forces your heart to work harder to supply available blood throughout the body. As blood pools and sits stagnant for a while, you will also develop blood clots in the heart.

Symptoms of AFib can include:

  • Breathing troubles
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations

If a blood clot forms in the heart, you can expect symptoms like:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive sweating
  • Intense pain in your chest or arm

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease infographic. Heart awareness concept. Atherosclerosis stages in artery caused by cholesterol plaque. Vector illustration isolated on white background.

Coronary artery disease, or CAD, is the most common of these heart conditions and develops when the coronary arteries become clogged with plaque. Your coronary arteries deliver blood to the heart, so when plaque buildup prevents the proper amount of blood from reaching your heart, it can lead to painful or even fatal complications.

You’ll notice that the development of CAD is a factor that can lead to the above-mentioned conditions, congestive heart failure and AFib.

Causes of Coronary Artery Disease

For some, CAD is a genetic issue—if you have a family history of heart disease, you are at a much higher risk of developing CAD than others. However, factors such as age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes also play a part in the development of CAD. Men over 45 and women over 55 are at an increased risk of experiencing CAD and its effects.

Causes of CAD:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Excessive stress
  • Family history
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking

Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

If you have developed coronary artery disease, you are likely to experience:

  • Breathing troubles
  • Chest discomfort (tightness, heaviness, or pain)
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea

How Can Middle Georgia Heart Help Treat Any of These Conditions?

Middle Georgia Heart is a dedicated cardiovascular practice serving Central Georgia patients facing heart conditions and complications. We ensure our patients benefit from fast appointment scheduling, responsive communication, state-of-the-art cardiovascular technology, comprehensive diagnostic testing, and the most up-to-date care to improve or manage your heart health.

Each condition mentioned requires a testing process, and every patient requires unique treatments and care solutions to optimize their health journey with us.

Depending on your symptoms or concerns, our cardiovascular specialists will provide comprehensive testing that can include:

  • EKG/ECG (electrocardiogram)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress test
  • Heart monitoring
  • Angiogram

Depending on the progression of your condition, we will determine your best treatment plan.

For some conditions, patients in the early stage can reverse issues by committing to the right lifestyle choices, which can include:

  • Lowering high blood pressure
  • Sticking to a heart-healthy diet
  • Exercising and staying active
  • Reducing stress
  • Quitting smoking

Our heart doctors will create a treatment plan for those whose conditions have progressed beyond the early stages to improve your heart and manage or even improve its health. From medications to in-office or surgical procedures, we will design a plan entirely around you.

Ready to Put Your Heart in the Right Hands? Schedule Your Appointment with the Heart Doctors of Middle Georgia Heart.

Our cardiologists offer exceptional advice, treatment, and care to patients facing any heart condition. While we provide the best possible cardiovascular care, we will also walk beside you on your health journey every step of the way. Schedule a consultation with our practice today: 478-207-5224

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