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A cardiologist is a physician who's an expert in the care of your heart and blood vessels. They can treat or help you prevent a number of cardiovascular problems. They can also specialize in specific areas, such as abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure or heart problems you’ve had since birth.
What Is a Cardiologist?
Cardiologists are doctors who have extra education and training in preventing, diagnosing and treating heart conditions. They are experts on the heart muscle itself and the arteries and veins that carry blood. Primary care physicians see lots of different kinds of illnesses throughout the day, while cardiologists focus specifically on heart problems. They’re a good place to turn if you want to manage your risk of heart disease, or if you find out that you have heart disease. Cardiologists are specialize in the treatment of the cardiovascular system—which includes the heart and blood vessels. Cardiologists also educate habits that promote heart health.
Types of Cardiologists
There are many specialties under the category of cardiology. Here are some of the most common types of cardiologists :
Other types of Cardiologist :
What does a cardiologist do ?
A cardiologist is a healthcare provider who can treat chest pain, high blood pressure and heart failure, as well as problems with your heart valves, blood vessels and other heart and vascular issues. They can order tests like Electrocardiograms (E.C.G.), Echocardiograms and CTs (computed tomography) to find out what’s wrong. With their diagnosis, they can order medicine, help you start healthier exercise and eating habits or do cardiac catheterization.
A cardiologist will do a physical exam and discuss your symptoms, medical history and family history with you. It’s important to let your cardiologist know if other people in your family have had heart problems because that can increase the chances of you having a heart problem.
Some basic information can give your cardiologist valuable information about your cardiovascular health, such as your :
Your provider will look at all of this information and any test results to figure out your risk factors for heart problems. They’ll also want to know if you smoke, how much you exercise, what you eat and which medicines you’re taking.
What diseases do cardiologists treat or help you prevent ?
Cardiologists can treat a wide range of heart and vascular problems, including :
Atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders :
What kind of tests does a cardiologist do ?
A cardiologist can order the following tests, but other healthcare providers may perform some of these tests :
When to see a cardiologist
Your primary care provider may refer you to a cardiologist if you have a problem with your heart or blood vessels that needs extra care. If you’re feeling pain in your chest, dizziness or shortness of breath, you may need to see a cardiologist. Your cardiologist may keep working with you for a long time as they monitor your conditions.
Reasons to See a Cardiologist
There are many symptoms associated with the heart that might lead you to visit a cardiovascular specialist. You should see a cardiologist if you have:
Being unable to catch your breath can be a warning sign of a heart problem and should be addressed with a doctor immediately. If you have severe shortness of breath, you should call your Physician soon.
Dizziness is a feeling of unsteadiness and can be described as a swirling or spinning sensation focused in the head. Dizziness can point to many different conditions, including heart disease or unstable blood pressure.
Fainting can be described as a sudden loss of consciousness. It is caused by low blood flow to the brain. Lightheadedness and dizziness are often signals that someone might faint. Fainting spells can be brought on by many causes, such as low blood sugar, panic attacks, anemia, or heart disease. You should address fainting spells with your physician, especially if you experience them regularly.
Chest pain — also known as angina — often occurs when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen. The pain can sometimes be diverted to the shoulder, arm, and jaw. While not all chest pain is angina, it should always be addressed with your doctor.
Call your physician if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain:
Heart flutters may be experienced as:
Fluttering sensations may relate to heart disease or disorders and should be discussed with your doctor.
What to expect at a cardiologist appointment
Your provider may ask:
If your cardiologist has the equipment at their location, they may do an electrocardiogram to get a quick reading of your heart’s rhythm. They may also set up a separate appointment for other tests that take a little longer and require special scanning machines that only hospitals have.
When you visit the cardiologist, they will talk with you to learn more about your symptoms and your habits. They may also perform a series of tests to identify specific cardiovascular conditions. Testing on cardiologist patients may include:
These tests will evaluate your overall heart health. Once the cardiologist analyzes your test results, they will diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan. Common cardiology conditions include congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, and vascular disease.
Cardiologist treatment plans may include prescriptions or advice about diet and lifestyle changes. More serious conditions may require heart surgery of varying degrees.
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