You can feel better when you have heart failure by taking your medicines as directed, having a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding things that make heart failure worse. To find out the things you can do every day, what to watch for, and when to call a doctor, see:
Take a low-dose aspirin every day if your doctor advises it to prevent a
stroke or heart attack. But higher doses of aspirin may make your heart failure
worse. So talk to your doctor first about how much to
Exercise regularly. If
you aren't already active, your doctor may want you to start
exercising. You could do it in a program or on your own. Try to do
activities that raise your heart rate. Aim
for at least 2½ hours of
moderate exercise a week.
One way to do this is to be active at least 10 minutes 3 times a day, 5 days a
week. You can start slowly if you haven't exercised much before. For
more information, see the topic
Cardiac Rehabilitation. For information on starting
and staying with an exercise program, see:
"I was having a lot of trouble getting enough sleep. I
was snoring so bad that my wife was sleeping in another room. I'd wake up 7
times a night. Sometimes I'd wake up gasping for breath. The next day I'd be so
tired that I'd fall asleep while doing my woodworking in the garage. And I was
really fuzzy-headed. I couldn't remember anything.
"I thought it
might be my heart failure. So I decided to talk to my doctor about it, and he
suggested a sleep study. I found out that I have sleep apnea. I haven't been
getting enough oxygen because of it. He put me on a CPAP machine at night. I've
used it for the past 4 months.
"It took a little time to get used
to sleeping with a mask. But I'm sleeping much better. Now if I wake up, it's
only once, and I go right back to sleep. I feel so much better during the
This story is based on information gathered from many people living with heart failure.