Heart-related ailments are serious medical conditions that require time and dedicated medical care. In India, the number of deaths owing to cardiovascular diseases has seen a steep rise over the years. It is an alarming situation, given the fact that lifestyle factors are majorly responsible for this rise as compared to one’s family medical history. The factors include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, stress, and unhealthy dietary habits.
If you or any of your loved ones have been diagnosed with a heart condition, the foremost thing you should do is to opt for a health insurance cover for the heart. This is essential as treatment of heart diseases is expensive especially at private healthcare centers.
Religare Health Insurance offers customized plans for heart ailments. For instance, ‘Care Heart’ is a health plan that covers pre-existing heart ailments, thus saving you from the impact of huge medical costs while protecting your heart health by ensuring access to the right treatment at the right time.
To remove the fears associated with such conditions and help you focus on the treatment, it is also essential to have a thorough understanding of heart diseases.
What are Heart Diseases?
The heart is a vital organ in the human body that constantly pumps blood and supplies oxygen. When the normal functions of the heart get disturbed, heart diseases arise. The health conditions are mainly concerned with the blood vessels and circulatory system. Sometimes, they may also include deformities and other health issues related to the heart.
Types of Heart Diseases
Heart diseases appear in many ways, as discussed below:
- Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): It is a medical condition when the coronary arteries – that are responsible for supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart – get damaged owing to plaque deposits.
- Arrhythmia: It is a condition involving irregular heartbeats. For instance, tachycardia is a condition wherein the heart beats at a rapid pace.
- Cardiomyopathy: A disorder where the heart muscles become larger and thick.
- Atherosclerosis: It is a medical condition involving the hardening of the arteries.
- Rheumatic heart disease: A condition where the valves of the heart are permanently damaged, caused by rheumatic fever.
- Heart Infections: Infections in the heart caused by bacteria or viruses.
- Congenital Heart Defects: Such conditions involve abnormalities related to the heart that are present since the patient’s birth. For instance, a hole between the two heart chambers.
Risk Factors of Heart Diseases
Some major factors that are responsible for causing heart diseases in a person are mentioned below:
- Gender: Experts say that men are at higher risk of heart diseases as compared to women
- Age: The risk of heart ailments becomes higher as a person grows older
- Family Medical History: Heart disease is likely to affect a person if they run in the family
- Diabetes and Hypertension: If not controlled and treated, ailments such as diabetes and hypertension can lead to heart problems.
- Lifestyle Factors: As stated earlier, habits like smoking, lack of physical activity, obesity, eating junk foods leading to high ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, etc. are all responsible for increasing the chances of heart diseases.
>> Check: Symptoms of a Silent Heart Attack
Symptoms of Heart Diseases
If a person shows any of the following signs, it should not be neglected as that could be an indication of a heart problem or heart attack:
- Chest Pain
- Chest Tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen, legs or arms
- Irregular heartbeat (slow or fast)
- Numbness in legs or arms
- Dizziness or fainting
Diagnosis and Treatment
Besides a physical examination, a doctor would recommend a blood test to ascertain any heart ailment in a person. Other diagnostic tests include Electrocardiogram, Echocardiogram, Stress test, CT scan, and Heart MRI – all of which are good ways to get a clear picture of a person’s heart conditions.
The treatment will depend on the type of heart condition the person is suffering from. Medications play a crucial role in curing and controlling the disease as well as preventing complications. In patients with severe heart conditions, say in case of blockage of arteries, surgery may be required.
Here is when health insurance for heart patients proves to be beneficial as the treatment expenses are covered without any impact on one’s finances. ‘Care Heart’ by Religare Health Insurance also offers the feature of annual cardiac health check-ups which is a great benefit for those seeking timely treatment of heart diseases.
One would agree that prevention is definitely better than cure. Even medical experts recommend precautionary measures to control the risk factors. This can be done by leading a healthy lifestyle, as mentioned below:
- Maintaining blood pressure at a normal level
- Controlling cholesterol levels by eating healthy foods
- Managing stress through yoga and meditation
- Leading an active life involving walking and exercises
- Having nutritious and low-sodium diet to control hypertension
- Keeping a check on blood sugar to prevent heart complications
- Quitting smoking and excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine