Symptoms



You may not have any symptoms of heart failure, or the symptoms may be mild to severe. Symptoms can be constant or can come and go. The symptoms can include:
 

Congested lungs

Fluid back up in the lungs can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying flat in bed. Lung congestion can also cause a dry, hacking cough or wheezing.

 

Fluid and water retention

Less blood to your kidneys causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs, abdomen (called edema), and weight gain. Symptoms may cause an increased need to urinate during the night. Bloating in your stomach may cause a loss of appetite or nausea.
 


Dizziness, fatigue, and weakness

Less blood to your major organs and muscles makes you feel tired and weak. Less blood to the brain can cause dizziness or confusion.
 

Rapid or irregular heartbeats

The heart beats faster to pump enough blood to the body. This can cause a fast or irregular heartbeat.

 
If you have heart failure, you may have one or all of these symptoms or you may have none of them. In addition, your symptoms may not be related to how weak your heart is; you may have many symptoms but your heart function may be only mildly weakened. Or you may have a more severely damaged heart but have no symptoms.