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Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is caused by fluid accumulation and congestion in the lungs. Wet lungs can’t exchange oxygen easily. In the early stages of heart failure, you will probably only experience breathlessness after exercise, but if your heart failure progresses you may feel breathless when resting as well. You may feel more breathless lying down because the fluid in your lungs moves with gravity, making more of your lungs wet (think of liquid in a bottle upright and then lying on its side). If you do feel breathless at night, or when lying down, try supporting yourself with pillows so you are lying in a more upright position. If you consistently feel breathless at night, contact your doctor or nurse.

Animation

Animation explaining how heart failure causes fluid accumulation

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AN ANIMATED JOURNEY THROUGH HEART FAILURE

A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.

USEFUL TOOLS

Click to print these tools to help you monitor your heart failure

PATIENT AND CAREGIVERS VIDEOS

In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.

VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE

and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers.

heartfailurematers.org is a European Society of Cardiology website

The heartfailurematters.org website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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