Heart failure is treated in several ways. The aims of treatment are to slow the progression of the condition, reduce hospitalisation, improve survival and reduce symptoms in order to improve quality of life. Treatments range from medication and lifestyle changes to implanted devices and surgery. With early diagnosis and treatment, symptoms can often be reduced and many heart failure patients are able to resume active lives.
Lifestyle changes - Lifestyle changes such as eating less salt, exercising in moderation, and getting enough rest may help relieve some symptoms experienced in all stages of heart failure.
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Drug therapies - Medication, sometimes combined with an implantable device, can improve symptoms of heart failure.
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Implantable devices - Always combined with drug therapy, surgically implanted medical devices can also improve devices can also improve symptoms of heart failure.
Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) - Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (much easier to remember as CRT) is a way of treating heart failure with an implantable device similar to a pacemaker. This device uses tiny electrical pulses to both ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart to make them beat together again in a more synchronised pattern. This improves the heart's ability to pump blood and oxygen to the body. Single therapy systems provide only Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy. View Video Combined therapy systems are able to provide CRT plus therapies to treat ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VT/VF).
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Surgery - Depending on the underlying causes for heart failure, a number of surgical treatment options are available which may help prevent further cardiac damage.
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Keep in mind that only a doctor can determine the right treatment options for each patient. As with any condition, early detection and working closely with a doctor are keys to the successful long-term management of heart failure.