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Common Heart Diseases



Here are the common heart diseases in Singapore. Learn more about their symptoms and causes, and possible treatment plans.

What is Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy refers to conditions that affect the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy can make your heart stiffen, enlarged or thickened and can cause scar tissue. As a result, your heart can’t pump blood effectively to the rest of your body. In time, your heart can weaken and cardiomyopathy can lead to a severe heart failure.
 

What are the symptoms of Cardiomyopathy?

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing, especially with physical exertion
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen and veins in the neck
  • Dizziness
  •  Light-headedness
  • Fainting during physical activity
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)


How is Cardiomyopathy diagnosed?


Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a form of ultrasound which shows your heart's movement, structure, and function.


Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

An electrocardiogram records the electrical impulses traveling through the heart


Imaging Test

Cardiac imaging tests are done with ultrasound or CT scan to check the size of your heart and if there is fluid build-up surrounding organs.


Stress Test

A stress test is done by monitoring your heart function while you run on a treadmill and provides information about the likelihood of coronary artery disease.


Blood Test

A blood test will be done to organ function, and check cholesterol levels and the presence of anemia.


Coronary Angiography

A coronary angiography is a diagnostic procedure to observe how blood flows through the heart’s arteries heart’s and blood vessel function


Chest X-ray

This helps your doctor see the condition of your heart and lungs. An X-ray can identify conditions other than a heart defect that might explain your signs or symptoms

What is an Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness. The condition usually results from a problem with your heart's electrical system, which disrupts your heart's pumping action and stops blood flow to your body.

If not treated, sudden cardiac arrest can lead to death. Survival is possible with fast, appropriate medical care.


What are the symptoms of Cardiac Arrest?

Broken heart syndrome symptoms can mimic a heart attack. Common symptoms include:

  • Sudden collapse
  • No pulse
  • No breathing
  • Loss of consciousness


How is a Cardiac Arrest diagnosed?
 

Imaging Test

Cardiac imaging tests are done with ultrasound or CT scan to check the size of your heart and if there is fluid build-up surrounding organs.
 

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

An electrocardiogram records the electrical impulses traveling through the heart.


Coronary catheterization

A coronary angiogram is a procedure that uses X-ray imaging to see your heart's blood vessels. The test is generally done to see if there's a restriction in blood flow going to the heart.

What is Carotid Stenosis?

Carotid stenosis is also known as carotid artery stenosis and is a medical condition where the carotid artery that supplies blood from the heart to the brain is narrowed or blocked. The carotid arteries are located on each side of the neck and blockages are caused by a build-up of plaque, which is is made up of fatty deposits, calcium and cholesterol. Small amounts of these substances  can be stuck within a blood vessel and can build up and cause a blockage  and damage to the arteries over time.

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What is Cerebrovascular Disease?

Cerebrovascular disease refers to a group of conditions that affect blood flow and the blood vessels in the brain. Problems with blood flow may occur from blood vessels narrowing , clot formation , artery blockage, or blood vessel rupture. Lack of sufficient blood flow affects brain tissue and may cause a stroke. This alteration of blood flow can sometimes impair the brain’s functions on either a temporary or permanent basis. When such an event occurs suddenly, it’s referred to as a cerebrovascular accident


What are the symptoms of Cerebrovascular Disease?

  • Facial droop
  •  Arm weakness
  •  Speech difficulty
  •  Severe headache
  •  Vertigo or Dizziness
  •  Vision Problems
     

How is Cerebrovascular Disease diagnosed?

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

An electrocardiogram records the electrical impulses traveling through the heart.


CT scan

This uses a series of X-rays to create detailed images of your heart. It can be used to diagnose an atrial septal defect and related congenital heart defects


Coronary Angiography

A coronary angiography is a diagnostic procedure to observe how blood flows through the heart’s arteries heart’s and blood vessel function

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary heart disease is also called coronary artery disease and is a cardiovascular disease of the heart. The heart is an organ that pumps oxygen-rich blood to different parts of the body through the arteries.

Excessive cholesterol levels in the blood cause fatty deposits to stick to the walls of the arteries.

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What is Heart Arrhythmia?

Heart arrhythmia is a condition where the heart beats faster or slower than usual or when it misses a beat. The heart is a muscular organ which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients. The normal heart rate for a body at rest is between 60-100 beats per minute. 

Heart arrhythmia is a commonly experienced condition for most people and doesn’t present any cause for concern. However, serious types of arrhythmia can cause many problems, such as heart failure or stroke. Several types of arrhythmia prevent the heart from supplying the different organs with oxygen-rich blood. This often results in damage or total failure of the organs.

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What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when an artery supplying the heart with blood and oxygen becomes blocked. The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system.

A constant supply of oxygen-rich blood through the coronary arteries is needed to give your heart this critical blood supply. Your arteries become narrow when you have coronary heart disease and blood can’t flow as well as it should. Deposits made up of fat and cells build up over time, forming plaque in your heart's arteries. 

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What is Heart Failure?

Heart failure occurs where the heart stops functioning and fails. The heart pumps blood to the various parts of the body continuously with the help of the cardiac muscle. The heart may not pump enough blood or function the way it should. It tries to make up for the insufficiency by enlarging itself or building muscle as it is forced to pump faster to keep up with the demand. The effects on the body can be negative as it may lead to fluid build-up in the other organs like the lungs and liver, and if the heart weakens or becomes more damaged trying to do this.

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What is a Heart Murmur?

A heart murmur is made by blood flow within the heart and can be heard through a stethoscope. Heart murmurs can be congenital and present at birth or may be a condition where it develops later in life. A heart murmur may indicate underlying heart issues. They are usually harmless but may require follow-up tests to ensure the condition of your heart.

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What are Heart Palpitations?

Heart palpitation is a heightened awareness of your own heartbeat that is beating too fast, skipping a beat, fluttering, or otherwise irregular. You may also feel this sensation in your chest, throat, or neck. These usually not serious or harmful and may be a result of stress and anxiety, or other factors.

Palpitations can be a sign of heart conditions that can be more serious in some cases. It can also result from a range of heart arrhythmias, which are classified by region, and type of heartbeat.

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What is Heart Valve Disease?

Heart Valve Disease occurs where the valves in the heart malfunction. The heart has four valves;  the tricuspid valve, the mitral valve, the aortic valve, and the pulmonary valve. They open and close each time the heart beats, which allows blood to flow through the atria and ventricles of the heart and in the correct direction.

Valve disorders range from narrowing or stenosis, or not being able to close properly. This allows less blood to flow through or causes a condition is called regurgitation where the blood flows back. 

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Did You Know?

Having a heart attack is not the same as having a sudden cardiac arrest.
 


Heart Attack

The heart is an organ that requires an uninterrupted supply of blood and oxygen. Oxygenated blood are transported via the coronary arteries to the heart. 

A heart attack occurs when the coronary arteries are blocked. When this happens, fatty deposits build up, forming plaques in the arteries. If a plaque ruptures, blood clots can form and block the arteries, hence causing a heart attack. 


Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac arrest takes place when blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. Besides this, irregular heartbeats known as arrhythmias can also happen; causing the heart to beat too fast, too slow or with an irregular rhythm. 

When the heart stops pumping blood for the body, sudden cardiac arrest happens.

Looking for a Cardiology Specialist or Cardiothoracic Specialist? Find one from our panel. 

To learn more, reach out to us at +65 6363 1818 or send an enquiry here. Alternatively, you could also click here to make an appointment.