Treatment for heart disease varies depending on the severity and condition. Cardiovascular treatment preserves heart function. At Reading Cardiology Associates, our highly trained and experienced team of cardiologists, nurses, and heart surgeons use cutting-edge technology to get to the root of your heart problems. We strive to ensure excellent patient safety and care through advanced testing and treatment services. Contact us today or book an online appointment.
Cardiology Q& A
What Is Cardiology?
Cardiology is a branch of internal medicine concerned with diagnosing and treating heart and blood vessel disorders. If you have heart disease, you may be referred to a cardiologist. A cardiologist is responsible for diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, and heart failure.
They also perform tests and procedures such as angioplasty or inserting a pacemaker. A cardiac surgeon performs surgical procedures to correct heart disorders. Heart diseases are conditions specific to the heart, while cardiovascular diseases affect the blood vessels, heart, or both.
Our cardiovascular specialists at Reading Cardiology Associates work with patients to diagnose heart problems, formulate a personalized treatment plan, and offer rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation improves mobility and speeds up recovery. Additionally, they offer preventative care plans for heart health and disease prevention.
When Would I Need a Cardiologist?
If you have symptoms of a heart condition, you may require the expertise of a cardiologist. You may also visit your cardiologist even without symptoms, especially if you have a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, smoking, or diabetes.
Symptoms indicating a heart problem may include:
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Herat rate or rhythm changes
- Shortness of breath
Cardiologists treat patients who have heart failure, heart attack, and other heart conditions, including atherosclerosis, congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, high blood cholesterol, stroke, high blood pressure, pericarditis, or atrial fibrillation.
How Are Cardiovascular Problems Diagnosed?
Our cardiologists use cutting-edge technology to test and diagnose heart problems. They may perform some of the following tests:
- Cardiac stress tests
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Electrocardiography (ECGs)
- Carotid ultrasounds
- Cardiac CT angiogram (computed tomography).
- Nuclear heart scans
- Cardiac Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Chest X-ray
- Holter monitor
- Cardiac catheterization
- Event monitoring
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
- Implantable event recorder
- Ambulatory ECG
- Blood tests
- Electrophysiology study (EPS) of the heart
After testing, your cardiologist will evaluate and interpret our test results to formulate a treatment plan.
How Are Cardiovascular Problems Treated?
Treatment depends on the type of heart condition you may have. This will help your cardiologist determine the course of treatment.
Treatment generally involves:
Lifestyle changes to lower your risk of heart disease, consume low sodium and low-fat diet and exercise several times a week for at least 30 minutes, avoid alcohol and quit smoking.
Medications to control heart disease depend on the type of heart disease you may have, such as blood thinners or blood pressure drugs.
Surgical procedures if medications are not enough. The type of procedure depends on the type of heart disease and the severity of the condition, such as:
- Carotid angiograms and stents
- Left heart catheterization (LHC)
- Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters
- Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs
- Right heart catheterization (RHC)
- Heart transplant
- Radiofrequency ablation
Your surgeon will help you decide the best treatment plan suited for your needs and work with you to assess the risks of every procedure beforehand. Your doctor will also perform a preoperative cardiac clearance to determine how well you respond to a surgical procedure before scheduling your operation.
When Should I Start Getting Heart-Related Screening Tests?
According to the American Heart Association, you should get screening from age 20; healthy adults need to check their blood pressure levels every two years, body mass index (BMI) during every healthcare visit, waist circumference whenever necessary, and cholesterol every five years. Blood glucose should be checked every three years starting at age 45.
Comprehensive screening tests may be necessary for patients with a family history of heart disease or stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and high blood pressure.
How Can I Prevent Heart Disease?
Preventative care is crucial for protecting your overall heart and body health. Our specialists at Reading Cardiology Associates can help formulate a cardiac prevention plan suited for your needs to minimize your risk of heart disease. The following lifestyle changes can help prevent and treat heart disease, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy meal plan and exercises to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Regular exercises strengthen the heart and improve blood circulation. Experts recommended at least 30 minutes of intense aerobic activity five days weekly.
- Blood pressure management can be controlled by adjusting lifestyle changes and taking medications.
- Stress management through exercises, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Smoking cessation is important since smoking increases blood pressure levels, increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack. Talk to your doctor about getting help for quitting.
- Diabetes management reduces the risk of heart conditions since high blood sugar damages blood vessels.
- Limit alcohol intake to avoid raising blood pressure levels and weight gain.
- Manage cholesterol levels since high cholesterol levels clog arteries. If you have high cholesterol levels, your cardiologist can prescribe medication and recommend lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol levels.
Early diagnosis of heart diseases is crucial in avoiding invasive procedures and lowering the chances of a heart attack.