Heart Health of the South Shore
David J. Hersh, MD, FACC
Cardiologist located in Bellmore, NY
Congestive heart failure (or CHF) is a chronic condition requiring ongoing management to prevent serious complications. As a top-ranked cardiologist in Bellmore, NY, Wantagh, NY, Massapequa, NT, and the neighboring communities, Dr. David Hersh has extensive experience in treating CHF in men and women at Heart Health of the South Shore, creating customized care plans based on each patient’s unique needs.
Congestive Heart Failure Q&A
What is congestive heart failure?
Congestive heart failure is a chronic disease that develops when the heart muscle doesn’t pump blood as strongly or efficiently as a healthy heart. Also referred to as CHF, congestive heart failure usually develops over time as a result of an underlying condition like high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery disease or other issues, or it can occur when the heart muscle is naturally stiff, making it more difficult for it to contract and pump normally. People with CHF have a low “ejection fraction,” a measurement of how well the heart pumps blood or ejects it from the heart.
What are the symptoms of congestive heart failure?
CHF can cause different symptoms depending on the severity of the disease and other factors. Some of the more common symptoms are:
- dizziness or fainting
- irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- swollen feet or ankles
- persistent cough
- decreased ability to exercise
Without appropriate care and ongoing management, CHF can cause heart valve damage, kidney or liver damage, arrhythmias and other serious medical problems.
How is CHF diagnosed?
Diagnosis begins with a physical exam and a review of the patient’s symptoms and medical history. An EKG will be performed and other tests like an ultrasound exam (echocardiogram) or chest x-ray may be performed, as well as a cardiac stress test to evaluate the heart during physical activity. Other tests and evaluations may also be performed to rule out other issues, determine the extent of the disease and any damage it may have caused, identify underlying causes of disease and optimize treatment.
How is congestive heart failure treated?
CHF treatment usually can be managed with medication to help address specific causes and prevent excessive strain on the heart. Patients may be prescribed medication to control blood pressure, control cholesterol levels or remove excess fluid that can build up in more advanced cases of CHF. When a heart defect is causing CHF, surgery may be necessary to repair it. CHF is a chronic condition and requires ongoing care to keep the heart healthy. In some patients, the heart muscle may improve over time and some symptoms may resolve.
Dr. Hersh accepts most major insurance. If you have any questions about your eligibility or coverage, please call our office. We are happy to help you.
Words from our patients
"I have never been treated nicer and its refreshing to finally find a physician in the Massapequa area who can care for us. Very satisfied!"
"I have moved my whole family over to Dr. Hersh. He is professional, thorough and the office is just wonderful!"