Heart failure has numerous symptoms which let you help detect the condition, for example, acute chest pain, chronic coughing or wheezing, fatigue or lightheadedness, nausea, etc.
Some of these symptoms are often overlooked and waved off as momentary spasms or effects of ageing and there are some that are highly evident of a heart failure.
Now, a study has added another important symptom to the list which they say could point towards potential heart failure or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – shortness of breath.
Shortness of breath, which is medically known as dyspnea, is often defined as an intense tightening in the chest, air hunger or a feeling of suffocation.
‘Shortness of breath is often a sign of heart or lung disease because these two organs are most closely involved in the respiratory system,’ said Nasser Ahmadi, research student at University of Gothenburg in Sweden, in a statement.
Chronic shortness of breath can also be considered as an equally important warning signal as high blood pressure, the researchers said. However, shortness of breath is an often overlooked symptom as people tend to associate it with ageing.
‘The fact that people do not seek medical advice for their breathlessness is often due to people associating their symptoms with the natural process of ageing.
But if you notice that you experience increased shortness of breath during exertion, you should seek medical attention,’ Ahmadi added.
The study showed that the faster the detection, the better prognosis. With early intervention, patients can avoid suffering and the need for hospitalisation decreases.