Heart conditions we treat
At the Berkshire Heart Clinic we treat a number of cardiac problems including:
Coronary Artery Disease
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease describes narrowing of the arteries which can prevent blood getting through to the heart and lead to chest pain (or angina as it is commonly known).
What can be done about Coronary Artery Disease?
Medication is used for immediate relief of symptoms as well as long-term prevention of angina and to help prevent the coronary artery disease worsening.
In severe cases, where medication has failed, surgery may be recommended as the appropriate course of treatment, this would be completed at a different hospital.
What does the term heart failure mean?
Symptoms such as tiredness, ankle swelling and breathlessness are common in patients deemed to be suffering from heart failure. These symptoms are the result of not enough blood being pumped around the body by the heart.
What causes heart failure?
It can be caused by a number of conditions but the main causes are usually high blood pressure or a heart attack.
What can be done about heart failure?
Whilst the damage caused to the heart cannot be repaired, your cardiologist will be able to discuss treatment options with you that can keep it under control and help relieve some symptoms.
Tests to diagnose heart failure
Blood tests, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG) and an exercise ECG are commonly carried out to help diagnose heart failure. Depending on the results, other tests may be carried out at a later date.
Valvular heart disease
What is valvular heart disease?
Valvular heart disease produces an irregular sound (heart murmur) that can be heard by a stethoscope. This sound is related to the opening and closing of the valves in the heart.
Murmurs can be entirely innocent and be caused by something as simple as a high rate of blood flow, which is common during youth and pregnancy.
Visible symptoms caused by valvular heart disease are breathlessness, dizziness, a tight feeling in the chest and in some cases ankle swelling.
What are arrhythmias?
Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms which cause the heart to pump less effectively. Electrical signals are sent through the heart chambers and arrhythmias are caused when these signals are interrupted.
What contributes to arrythmias?
There are a number of factors that can contribute to arrhythmias such as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stress, smoking, diabetes and excessive drinking of alcohol or caffeine.
What is hypertension?
Hypertension is an excessively high blood pressure. Hypertension is common with increasing age as the blood vessel walls get stiffer. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Tests for hypertension
In most cases simple tests such as a blood test, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram and certain urine tests are enough to determine the correct treatment options.