Left-sided heart failure occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump blood. This prevents organs from receiving enough oxygen. The condition can lead to complications that include right-sided heart failure and organ damage.
This condition occurs when the left side of the heart no longer functions appropriately. There are two types:
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The two sides of your heart work in different ways to pump blood.
Left-sided heart failure may occur in people with:
Other risk factors for left-sided heart failure include:
Symptoms may be mild at first or you may think it's a cold or allergy. You might not even notice them. But as heart function worsens, you may experience:
Over time, the heart works harder to do its job. This causes complications that may include:
Healthcare providers diagnose by obtaining a thorough history and performing a physical examination along with ordering laboratory tests and imaging studies.
Lab tests for left-sided heart failure use a sample of blood. They detect signs of heart disease and rule out other causes of your symptoms. You may need:
Heart imaging tests you may need include:
There are many treatment options. The ones that are right for you depend on whether the issue is diastolic heart failure or systolic heart failure.
Treatment often includes medications to improve heart functioning:
A procedure may be necessary if:
Your care may include:
Living a heart-healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of left-sided heart failure. If you’ve already experienced this condition, healthy habits can help you avoid future issues.
Steps you can take to prevent left-sided heart failure include:
Your outlook can be excellent as long you keep routine appointments with your care team and take medications as recommended by your provider.
Complications of light-sided heart failure can include:
Life after left-sided heart failure often includes changes such as:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Left-sided heart failure occurs when the heart loses its ability to pump blood. It often happens in people with high blood pressure and certain heart conditions. You may experience systolic heart failure or diastolic heart failure. Treatment can boost your heart’s pumping ability. Left-sided heart failure symptoms can come back. Ongoing therapies and lifestyle changes can lower this risk.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/02/2021.
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