Table of Contents
- What is cardiac asthma?
- Signs and Symptoms of Cardiac Asthma
- Causes of Cardiac Asthma
- Ø Heart Valves
- Ø Cardiac Muscle Dysfunction
- Ø Pulmonary Venous Pressure
- Ø Other Prominent Causes of Cardiac Asthma
- Diagnosis of Cardiac Asthma
- Cardiac Asthma Treatment
What is cardiac asthma?
Cardiac asthma is not a type of simple asthma, it is a type of wheezing or coughing as a result of heart failure. The wheezing can become a medical emergency depending on symptoms.
When we are talking about cardiac asthma then the real problems lies in the heart and condition results from the malfunctioning of the heart. The condition become severe due to the building up of fluid, and hence heart become unable to pump the blood powerfully and as a result the air passages become narrow. The other cause of the cardiac asthma is the pressure exerted by the left side of the heart.
Signs and Symptoms of Cardiac Asthma
The real signs and symptoms vary from person to person and usually felt after exercise or during sleeping. The common symptoms of cardiac asthma are the rapid shallow breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, high blood pressure, accelerated heart rate and swelling of the ankles. The symptoms get worsen as the time passes and as you grow older, consequences are very severe and you suddenly wake up during mid night due to shortening of breath.
The common symptoms of the cardiac asthma are:
- The first symptom is the shortness of breath, but is not necessary to happen along with wheezing
- Rapid increase in breathing
- Elevated blood pressure and increased heart beat
The cardiac asthmatic individuals wake up soon after sleeping and they must need to sit upright to get proper breathe.
Causes of Cardiac Asthma
The real cause of cardiac asthma is the mechanical heart failure. The situation become life threatening if don’t get proper check-up. This is because the pumping action of heart is reduced and results in the building up of fluid inside the lungs. The consequences are that the air passages become narrow which causes wheezing and other related problems.
Ø Heart Valves
The pulmonary edema is caused by problems inside the valves of your heart. In case when mitral opening become narrow, then mitral stenosis occurs, which is characterized by reduction in the amount of the blood reaching left ventricle. This will results in the back up of fluid in the pulmonary vein. The mitral opening separates left ventricle from left atrium. The thickness of mitral valves normally occur in case of rheumatic heart disease. The aorta is known to carry the blood from the left ventricle. If aortic valves become narrow then blood stream reaching aorta becomes narrow as a result blood flow back to the ventricles and is known as pulmonary edema.
Ø Cardiac Muscle Dysfunction
The pulmonary edema results from the problems which arises due to heart muscle problems. The most common among them are the systolic function problems which can be seen during the contraction phase of your heartbeat. The systolic dysfunction hence, causes an increase in your pulmonary venous pressure, this is just because the volume of the blood which is pushed from heart is less. It can also cause pulmonary edema.
Ø Pulmonary Venous Pressure
The pulmonary edema can be directly caused by the increase in pulmonary venous pressure, which means that you have more blood in your veins than the normal.
Ø Other Prominent Causes of Cardiac Asthma
There are some other issues which are known to cause the cardiac asthma. The sudden narrowing of renal artery can cause the pulmonary edema. The tumor of the arterial walls mostly the benign tumor called the atrial myxoma and blood clot built inside your heart can cause the pulmonary edema.
Diagnosis of Cardiac Asthma
To diagnose the cardiac asthma it must be differentiated from other causes of the asthma due to lungs problems. This can be easily done through clinical measures by measuring the circulation time which might be of your crucial valves.
To manage the cardiac asthma involve three main principles:
- You need to control the participating factors such as latent edema and nocturnal cough
- You need to measure the reduction in the inflow load such as morphine, sitting position and positive pressure breathing
- You need to reduce the residual blood entering in the left ventricle
The cardiac asthma can be diagnosed with the help of a chest X-ray which directly reveals the presence of fluid inside the lungs and rule out the possibilities of bronchial asthma. To further confirm the cardiac asthma doctors may advise EKG, imaging techniques which include the CT scans and echo-cardiogram and sometimes the cardiac stress test.
Cardiac Asthma Treatment
The treatment involves the improvement of heart pumping with the help of medications. The surgery is required in case of a problem with the heart valve or hole in the heart.
The treatment focuses on the control of night cough, inflow load and edema. The treatment of heart failure involves the use of diuretics, in order to free you lungs of excess fluid, hence medications are required which help your heart muscles to pump more efficiently.
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