Treatments for heart failure

While there isn’t a cure for heart failure at the moment, the treatments available to control symptoms are helping many people live full and active lives.

Your doctor is likely to prescribe drugs that will help control your blood pressure and help the pumping action of your heart.

They will also give you advice about making changes to your lifestyle such as cutting down on salt, which will help control your blood pressure, and stopping smoking.

A combination of medication and lifestyle changes will hopefully help you continue to do the things you enjoy, by helping you manage your symptoms and keeping your condition as stable as possible.

Some people with heart failure will benefit from a pacemaker or ICD. Your doctor will talk to you about these treatments if they are right for you.

For most people, heart failure is a long-term condition that can’t be cured. But treatment can help keep the symptoms under control, possibly for many years.

The main treatments are:

  • healthy lifestyle changes
  • medication
  • devices implanted in your chest to control your heart rhythm
  • surgery

In many cases, a combination of treatments will be required. Treatment will usually need to continue for the rest of your life.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance about chronic heart failure and acute heart failure, which outline the care you can expect.

If you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure, making healthy lifestyle changes can help relieve your symptoms and reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill.

Lifestyle changes that are often recommended include:

You may be given an opportunity to attend a heart failure rehabilitation programme. This will cover areas such as exercise, education, relaxation and emotional support.

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