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Things to Consider if you have Cardiovascular Disease

May 30, 2024 -
Things to Consider if you have Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases are a collection of conditions that affect the heart and blood supply. They are the leading cause of death worldwide, but the good news is that survival rates from cardiovascular diseases are better today than they have ever been.

As a result, there are about 7.6 million people in the UK who are living with cardiovascular diseases, according to data from the British Heart Foundation. That’s more than 10 percent of the population.

One of the most common cardiovascular diseases is coronary heart disease, which occurs when blood-flow to the heart muscle is blocked or constrained. This puts extra strain on the heart and can lead to other conditions such as angina, heart attack or coronary failure. Other cardiovascular diseases include stroke, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and aortic disease.

Anyone can get a cardiovascular disease at any age, but risk increases with age. Poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure and family history can all put you at greater risk, too.

Cardiovascular Diseases – know the symptoms

The main reason that fatality rates from cardiovascular diseases have gone down is that we have become better at diagnosing these conditions early and taking swift action to either remedy or manage them. So the key to positive outcomes from cardiovascular diseases is to recognise the symptoms.

Of course, these vary according to different conditions, and we have discussed stroke and PAD in separate articles. Common symptoms of cardiovascular heart disease include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Pain, weakness or numbness in the legs or arms
  • Unusually fast or slow heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness, light-headedness or feeling faint
  • Swollen limbs

Even if the symptoms are mild or they soon disappear, it is best to get checked by your doctor. When cardiovascular diseases are diagnosed early, it is much easier to treat them and they are less likely to have a negative impact on your life.

Using mobility aids when living with cardiovascular diseases

People with cardiovascular diseases often worry that the symptoms might make it harder to carry out ordinary daily tasks, making it more of a challenge to live independently. However, with the right support, both in terms of medical and wellness advice and tangible living aids, most people find that heart problems are not a barrier to leading an enjoyable, active and independent life. The following living and mobility aids are useful for people with cardiovascular diseases:

Kitchen aidslifting heavy objects or bending to retrieve things from cupboards can exacerbate symptoms such as breathlessness and dizziness. There’s no need to invest in a whole new kitchen though. Spend some time reorganizing so that commonly used items are close to hand and treat yourself to a few useful gadgets like an easy-pour kettle and a handy grabber.

Grab rails and handles – slips and falls become a bigger risk when you have cardiovascular diseases. Think about the biggest danger zones in your house and get some extra rails or handles added. Focus on areas like bathrooms and staircases, as this is where most accidents happen.

Walking sticks and canes – fear of falling can sometimes be as debilitating as a physical accident. Cardiovascular diseases often lead to you being less steady on your feet, and a walking stick or cane is the perfect accessory. It provides that little bit of help when you need it but also does wonders for your confidence when out and about.

Mobility scooters - if your cardiovascular condition makes it difficult to walk any distance, going out anywhere can be a challenge. With a mobility scooter, you don’t have to rely on friends or family to help you. They are available in various types, from travel scooters that fold up in the boot of the car to road scooters that can go as far as 35 miles on a single charge.

Communication aids – if you have a cardiovascular disease, it is important to know you can summon help when needed. If you live alone, it also means loved ones are less likely to worry. With an emergency call system, independence does not compromise safety, while a big button telephone is easy to operate even if you are feeling breathless or faint.

Join the millions of others who are living with cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases are serious, but fatality rates continue to fall. If you watch for the signs and catch it early, you can join the millions of others who live full and busy lives despite being diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease.

Having the right mobility aids and household gadgets is an important part of living with cardiovascular diseases. It is always a good idea to speak to your doctor or other healthcare advisor to help you choose which mobility aids will be the most useful to you.

For more help and support, visit the British Heart Foundation and NHS websites

Jon Wade
Jon Wade

Jon has been working at CareCo since 2019. He uses his extensive product knowledge to provide insights and advice on the best mobility aids for every occasion.

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