Valentine's day can bring out a surge of conflicting emotions in a person. You can either be head-over-heels in love with your special someone or six-feet-below-the-ground depressed because you're single. If you feel your heart literally hurting however, that's a different thing.
Pain in the cardiac or chest area may be indications of serious cardiovascular conditions. With the American Heart month now here, it's time to be informed of the common cardiac disorders. Here's a closer look at five of them:
Coronary Artery Disease
Simply called heart disease, this condition is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women, CDC reports. This condition is a result of plaque accumulation in the arteries, leading to narrowing of the blood passages. When not treated, plaque can block blood flow, giving less oxygen to the cardiac region, and increases the risk for stroke and heart attack.
Also called myocardial infarction, this condition occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If the clot blocks the flow completely, the cardiac muscle does not get the oxygen it needs and eventually dies. Typical symptoms of a heart attack include shortness of breath, chest pain, profound sweating, vomiting or fainting. If not treated immediately, this attack can cause permanent damage to the heart.
This means having a problem with the rhythm of your heart. You can either have tachycardia (heartbeats are too fast), bradycardia (heartbeats are too slowly), fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), or premature contraction (heartbeats are too early). Everyone may experience irregular heartbeats, but if they are too far from normal, they should be taken seriously as they can become fatal.
Congenital Heart Disease
This condition is a type of defect in the heart structure that occurs before birth. In most cases, it arises during fetal development, when the pregnant mother is exposed to certain viral infections, alcohol or drugs. The result is an altered shape and function of the cardiac muscle. Examples include septal defects, cyanotic heart disease and obstruction defects.
This a major health problem has affected millions of Americans. Though its name sounds frightening at first, heart failure doesn't really mean that your heart stopped working. It means that the heart does not pump blood to the body as efficiently as it should. This is sometimes the result of CAD or hypertension – the heart becomes too weak to pump properly.