I have a question regarding my father. Four years ago he had heart surgery for ASD repair. It went well, but since he waited until he was 45 to do the surgery the condition has left him with an enlarged heart. He lost his insurance a few months after his surgery because he got a new job that is not as physically demanding. He is working for a small company that does not provide coverage. In order for him to buy it on the private market with his pre-existing condition would not be possible. However, our family does not qualify for any state/federal programs due to our income.
Considering all this, my father is coughing a lot lately. Especially at night. Sometimes the bouts last for quite some time. I think the cough is mostly dry, but I am not sure. He is a pretty private person and would not go to the doctor knowing the costs. I am trying to convince him to go, or at least try to find affordable coverage in case something happens, but I am not sure how likely this is. So my question is how serious is his cough, and how concerned should we be? He did use to take Atanalol (not sure of the spelling). But does not anymore. Is there anything he can do to alleviate his cough given his condition?
Coughing from heart disease and especially coughing at night is a symptom of Congestive Heart Failure. Congestive Heart Failure can give a dry cough or produce white or clear mucus. Has he been retaining any water around his abdomen? If he is, it would be suspicious for left side congestive heart failure which would be more serious than right side congestive heart failure. If this is the case, he needs to be on some good heart medication like ace inhibitors which are proven to increase lifespan. He has to watch his salt intake and make sure that he does not gain a pound a day. Talk to your Dad about seeing a cardiologist, so that he can get a diagnosis and be treated. If it is CHF and he lets it go, he will eventually end up in the emergency room because the lungs will fill and he will not be able to get air. CHF is serious, so talk to him as soon as possible.
Thank you so much for your response. My dad is not overweight and when his cholesterol is also good, but I guess has been gaining some recently. How can one tell if he is retaining water or is just gaining weight? He insists that he is fine as he has been coughing all his life pretty much, but the coughing fits really don't sound normal. But I'll try to get him to see a doctor so we don't end up in the er. Thank you very much again.
I had CHF and dry coughing is a symptom especially when inclined (gravity has a role) and is medically termed pulmonary edema. Sitting up provides some relief and in addition to coughing there is feeling of not getting enough air and that causes hyperventalating. I was in ICU for about 3 days and as related to edema it required getting the correct ratio of oxygen in the blood, and my edema was classified as mild!.
If your dad is retaining water, some good signs of this would be swelling in the legs and ankles. Also, if you can push in with your finger on a spot on his lower leg and the indention remains.....you can pretty much bet he has edema.
I just got diagnosed with an enlarged heart and have just begun the testing process for everything. My symptoms started about 4 months ago. My symptom was an AWFUL cough! It lasted for 3 months. I thought I just had a bug or flu or something and took OTC meds. I refused to go to the doc for a cough. Dumbest move I could make. My doctor now says that the virus associated with that cough is what likely caused the heart problems. In the past two weeks is when my other symptoms appeared. It started with shortness of breath, then all of the swelling started. The shortness of breath has really been getting worse, and now I'm feeling fluttering in my chest as well.
PLEASE get him to a doctor, it could save his life!
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