Heart failure-sometimes known as congestive heart failure (CHF)-occurs when the heart muscle doesn't pump blood as well as it should. When this happens, blood often backs up in the lungs, causing shortness of breath (SOB).

Certain heart conditions, such as narrowed arteries (coronary artery disease, CAD) or high blood pressure, gradually leave the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump blood properly.

Proper treatment can improve symptoms of heart failure and may help some people live longer. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising, reducing salt (sodium) in the diet and managing stress, can improve the quality of life.

People with CHF may have severe symptoms, and some may need a heart transplant or a ventricular assist device (VAD) that pumps the blood.

CHF can be ongoing (chronic), or it may start suddenly (acute). Some symptoms include, fatigue and weakness, swelling in the legs and ankles, persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged sputum, among others.

Some people with CHF can gain weight (5 pounds-2.3 kilos) or more in a couple of days.

More Info: www.mayoclinic.org