COVID-19 has been widely known as a virus that affects the respiratory system, but its effects on the heart may be less familiar. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of a heart issue overlap with signs of a positive case of the virus. At Cardiovascular Institute of the South, our experts can help you understand the symptoms and effects that COVID-19 may have on your heart health.
How Heart Problems & COVID-19 Are Related
After contracting COVID-19, your immune system quickly works to rid your body of the virus. As your immune system fights the virus, inflammation increases throughout the body. These high inflammation levels can damage the tissues of your heart, the lining of your veins and arteries, and even your blood vessels. This cumulative damage can affect your blood flow, raise your heart rate, and increase your risk of a heart attack. Type 2 heart attacks, caused by stress, low blood oxygen levels, and elevated heart rate, are more common in those with COVID-19 or those who have had the virus. If you are recovering from COVID-19, you can benefit from visiting a cardiologist whether you have a history of heart issues or not.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and even heart palpitations. But did you know that these are some of the same symptoms one may experience due to a heart attack or other heart-related problem? Since heart problems and COVID-19 can be related, it is important to pay attention to the severity of your symptoms and how fast they develop. No matter the root cause of your symptoms, it is best to consult a health professional. If your chest pain is persistent or your shortness of breath becomes worse when lying down, contact your doctor to assess the issue. But if you notice your lips or other features turning blue, experience severe chest pain, or have nausea accompanied by either of these symptoms, reach out to emergency services right away.
Experiencing Symptoms Before an Appointment
Cardiovascular Institute of the South is dedicated to helping you find the care you need while also protecting you, our staff, and our other patients from the spread of COVID-19. We clean each of our waiting and exam rooms, as well as our equipment, per CDC guidelines, between each appointment. If you are experiencing heart problems and suspect you may have COVID-19, please make sure that you have been asymptomatic for a minimum of 72 hours before attending your appointment. Otherwise, we ask that you call our office to reschedule for a later date when your symptoms have subsided. Give us a call before your appointment if you experience any of the following:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Nausea or diarrhea within the last week
- A loss of taste or smell
- Contact with a friend or family member who has had such symptoms or been hospitalized in the last week
Please also note that our clinics do not offer COVID-19 vaccinations or testing. Get in touch with your local provider.
Keep Up With Your Appointments
Now more than ever, stay on top of your heart health. The specialists at Cardiovascular Institute of the South remain ready to help you with your health concerns during this pandemic. Schedule an appointment today to get world-class cardiovascular care. Our clinics are located throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Contact your closest clinic location or request an appointment online.