Types of Heart Failure

Every year, 6.5 million adults are affected by heart failure. What most people don’t know is that there are different types of heart failure. It’s not just one big muscle giving up, but rather varying kinds of failure.

The first category is left-sided heart failure. Two different types of heart failure can happen in the left side, those of which are systolic failure and diastolic failure. Systolic failure happens when the ventricle cannot pump enough blood into circulation. Diastolic failure happens when the ventricle cannot relax as it should so the heart cannot fill with blood between beats.

The second category is right-sided heart failure. This type of heart failure usually happens as a result of left-sided heart failure. When the left ventricle of the heart fails, fluid pressure gets transferred back through the lungs which results in the right side taking on more stress and ultimately failing.

The third and final type of heart failure is congestive heart failure. This type of heart failure requires a patient to seek out medical attention almost immediately. Congestive heart failure is caused when blood flow from the heart slows, which in turn causes blood going back to the heart to slow, which then causes a back up of blood in the body’s tissues.

If caught early enough, heart failure can be treated in various ways, which can be discussed with your doctor.

-Bri Loughridge, Alexander’s Hope Intern