Heart diseases impinge on the heart organ and blood vessels, which carry blood around the human body. The most common heart disease is the coronary artery disease affects blood vessels. Human beings suffer from a variety of heart diseases. Some develop as individuals mature while others are present at birth, for instance, the congenital diseases found in newborns. These diseases affect the arteries, veins, the heart’s electrical system, and various heart areas such as the chamber, valves, the lining, and the main heart. Heart diseases are very many, and it is important to categorize them based on the parts of the heart or the blood vessels system they have affected. Heart diseases are classified broadly as cardiovascular diseases. This category includes conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels in a human’s body.
Coronary Artery Disease
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This condition affects the arteries that carry blood to the heart. The blood vessels harden and become slender. This condition is called atherosclerosis. It cuts off stops the course of blood to the heart, muscles causing heart attacks. Coronary heart disease is the major killer of the American population. The main cause of the narrowing of the arteries is the increase of plaque on the interior side of the arteries wall and the outcome is reduced blood flow.
An individual is at a high risk of getting coronary artery disease if they are exposed to some of the risk factors. These risk factors comprise of high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, cigarette smoking and inactivity of a person because of obesity. Some of the signs of coronary artery disease are chest pains, which are well described by angina. A person struggling for breath and feeling dizzy is among other symptoms. The heartbeat is extremely fast, and individual experiences nausea and fatigue. It is unfortunate for other people to have their first symptoms as a heart attack.
Angina is one of the effects of coronary artery disease, which is described as sharp chest pains because of the heart getting limited blood supply. Heart attacks are more likely to occur when a blood clot in the artery, blocks the supply of blood to heart muscles. This results to eventual death of heart cells. It also causes heart failure where the heart is not able to propel blood to the body organs in an efficient manner. This implies that the heart is about to stop working. Arrhythmia is caused by heart disease, which involves alteration of the heartbeats.
Angina pectoris is another heart vessels disease and is described by sharp chest pains that occur due to temporary lack of blood with oxygen in the heart. Angina is closely related to coronary artery diseases that are caused by narrowing of the arteries or scientifically known as atherosclerosis. Other symptoms rather than the chest pain include indigestion, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Angina is categorized into three; stable angina, which is described as overworking of the heart. There is the unstable angina, which is dangerous and is treated as an emergency. Variant angina mostly happens when one is at rest and can be managed by medical prescriptions.
Heart attack occurs when a part of the heart muscle fails to work leading to lack of blood and oxygen supply. It is caused by blockage of the coronary artery that results to less or no supply of oxygen and nutrients from reaching the heart muscles. The symptoms of heart attack are chest discomfort and difficulties in breathing. An individual also experiences pain in either one hand or both, and pain on the shoulder, neck, jaw, or back (Pampel and Pauley 19). Heart attack is caused by myocardial infarction, which is described as severe narrowing or complete blockage of the coronary artery. It causes a decrease of oxygen and nutrients to the heart causing death of heart muscles due to lack of these essential commodities This obstruction is a result of a blood clot in the artery, which is common in people suffering from the coronary artery disease. Another cause of heart attack although, less common is a spasm in the coronary artery, which entirely closes the artery.
A few risk factors heighten the chances of a person to getting a heart attack. They are factors that involve the daily behaviors of a person. These factors are categorized into those that can be controlled and those that cannot. They include high levels of cholesterol in the body, high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes, and cigarette smoking (Pampel and Pauley 89). Being obese or overweight can also cause heart attack, which is caused by being physical inactivity. Age and family history is also factor in a person getting a heart attack. Heart attack is treated by promptly restoring blood flow to the heart. It is also important to monitor the signs of a heart attack in a frequent manner and try to seek medical intervention in on time. Change of lifestyle is also essential in avoiding heart attack. Persons should avoid smoking and participate in exercises frequently. This improves cardiac fitness and the general well being of the human body (Ben-Zur et al. 74). Medications like thrombolytic drugs are used to treat it including angioplasty or an open surgery.
Congestive Heart Failure
Heart diseases that affect the heart chambers include Congestive Heart Failure. This disease occurs when the heart cannot fill with enough blood or it does not have enough pressure to pump blood. This condition results to blood being retained in the lungs causing shortness of breath to an individual. It is normally not treatable and as it progresses, the situation continues to worsen (Calnan (c) 15). This condition develops over time where the pumping action of the heart continues to weaken. The left side, the right side or in some cases both sides of the heart weaken.
In most cases, it involves the left part of the heart where the heart fails to pump enough oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. The failure of the right side of the heart implies that the heart looses the power to pump sufficient blood to the lungs for oxygenation. In congestive heart failure, blood does from the heart does not reach in the lungs (Amy, Bruce and Berger 65). People suffering from heart failure have increase of fluid in the feet, joints, and legs. The body does not have enough supply of oxygenated blood and an individual is likely to feel tired and have trouble in breathing. It is mainly caused by high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. It cannot be cured though it can be improved through exercise.
Congenital Heart disease
A person is born with this disease. The heart has a strange structure or does not function in a proper manner. These diseases affect the interior walls of the heart, valves, or the arteries and veins. They are involved in altering the standard gush of blood in the heart. Types of congenital defects include Patent ducts arteriosus. This disease occurs when temporary blood vessels between two key arteries of the heart fail to close immediately after birth (Calnan (a) 33). This defect happens when the child is growing in its mother’s womb. A special passage called ductus arteriosus is created to act on behalf of the undeveloped lungs. This passage transmits blood from the aorta to the pulmonary artery and permits the baby to get oxygen from the mother’s placenta. This passage is required to close shortly after birth to allow the normal flow of blood to lungs. In this defect, the passage unfortunately fails to close and it is rectified through surgery.
Septal defect is a hole on the wall connecting systolic or diastolic part of the heart. The wall that is between the four chambers is called a septum. The septum acts as a barrier, but the presence of the hole alters the normal flow and this causes a mix up of oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood (Calnan (b) 32). Coarctation of the aorta is a defect where a part of the aorta is extremely narrow for blood to flow smoothly. This causes low supply of oxygenated blood to the rapidly respiring body. In some cases four defects of the heart occurs together to create a condition that is called Tetralogy of Fallot. This situation prevents the blood from accessing the lungs to get oxygenated. Majority of congenital heart defects occur due to a combination of environment and genetic factors. These environmental factors include viruses, drug and alcohol abuse of the parent during pregnancy (Calnan (a) 56).
In conclusion, most heart diseases can be avoided through avoidance or limiting some of the risk factors. These risk factors which include smoking of cigarettes can be avoided and prevent an individual from heart diseases. The lifestyle of an individual can alter the probability of getting a heart disease. If one commits to physical activities, they help to burn up excess fat thus maintaining the cholesterol level at a manageable level. Exercise also helps improve on the cardiac endurance thus avoiding conditions like arrhythmias. Exercises make the heat beat stable and thus lower risk of heart disease. In congenital heart diseases, one can prevent them by avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse during pregnancy, which is the main cause.