The health of your heart is integral to the length of time that you live and the types of work that you can do. An ejection fraction can be an indicator of more serious heart health problems that can become a big problem for your health and your ability to work later down the road. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an ejection fraction that’s outside of the normal ranges, you might be concerned about your ability to safely do your job, depending on the type of job that you have. Getting experienced legal help can increase a person’s chances of receiving the disability benefits (Be is from the SSA or your disability insurance carrier) that they need.
What is an Ejection Fraction?
An ejection fraction is actually less of a condition and more of a way of measuring the efficiency of a person’s heart (typically the left ventricle, specifically.) Most people’s hearts pump out about 55% to 70% of the blood in the heart with each beat. If the amount of blood that’s pumped falls out of that range, it can be cause for concern because this can be a sign of more serious underlying heart health problems. For instance, if a person has an injection fraction that’s below the normal range, this might indicate that they have heart damage, a weak heart, or high blood pressure.
Usually, a medical professional will give the patient further tests to determine the cause of the ejection fraction being out of normal range. The further tests will help determine the cause of a low ejection fraction, but they’ll also help medical professionals treat the cause of the abnormal ejection fraction test. With further testing and treatment, in many cases, it’s possible to significantly improve the results of the tests, which can lead to better long-term health.
Since there are several reasons that a person could have an ejection fraction out of the normal range, there isn’t necessarily a specific age group or sex that abnormal ejection fraction tests are more common with. But any known health risks, such as previous heart attacks or high cholesterol, are good reasons to have ejection fraction levels checked.
Symptoms of an Ejection Fraction
Although the ejection fraction is technically the test that measures the efficiency of a heart, a person who will test as having a low ejection fraction might notice several symptoms. For instance, they might notice that they experience shortness of breath or have an inability to exercise because they have difficulties breathing.
Fatigue, weakness, and mental confusion are other common symptoms, and they occur because the blood isn’t carrying enough oxygen to the body and brain. Rapid, irregular, or forceful heartbeats are also a sign of a condition that will cause a low ejection fraction reading. These symptoms result from the heart working harder to compensate for the fact that it’s not pumping efficiently.
While it’s pretty easy to predict that a person with a low ejection fraction might experience shortness of breath, there are a few symptoms that some people might not link to a heart problem without experienced medical staff. For instance, some people might also notice swelling in their ankles and feet because the heart isn’t pumping blood through the extremities as well. When this happens, the swelling is actually caused by blood pooling in the feet and ankles.
Abdominal discomfort, such as pain and nausea, is another symptom of a low ejection fraction. The pain, nausea, and bloating occur because a low ejection fraction can cause blood and fluid to back up into abdominal cavities and organs, such as the stomach, liver, and intestines.
Treatment for Ejection Fraction
The exact treatment that a person will need for an abnormal ejection fraction will depend on the reason for abnormal measurements. For instance, if a low injection fraction is caused by an associated health condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, or high blood pressure, managing those conditions first can help normalize your injection fraction.
Some healthcare providers might also prescribe an exercise schedule to help strengthen the heart and lessen the effect of other health conditions, some of which can benefit from exercise and its benefits, such as weight loss. For people who are very out of shape, walking might be the first exercise to start, but a person with a heart condition should also consult with their doctor before starting any exercise plan.
Diet can also play a crucial role in managing heart-related problems. For instance, people with heart disease should limit sodium intake, which can put extra strain on the heart and cause the body to retain excess fluids.
Cutting out harmful substances can also help people with an abnormal ejection fraction manage any heart problems. For instance, quitting drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can greatly decrease the symptoms.
Practicing some self-care techniques, such as meditation, can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. High blood pressure and heart rates are linked to more heart-related problems, so reducing stress levels is integral to stabilizing heart conditions.
Disability Benefits for Ejection Fraction
Some people who have an ejection fraction that falls lower than 55% also experience a major heart failure, such as a heart attack. If this happens, the ejection fraction test results will be evaluated when a person applies for benefits. But just because anything less than 55% is out of the normal range doesn’t mean that a person who is out of the normal range will qualify for benefits.
For a cut and dry case where social security disability benefits are paid out because of a low ejection fraction, the test results actually have to be 30% or lower. Otherwise, there are certain heart conditions that are commonly able to qualify for benefits.
On the flip side, just because someone has ejection fraction results that fall between 30% and 55% doesn’t mean that they automatically don’t qualify for benefits. Instead, most likely, they’ll need to show other reasons that they can’t work because of their low ejection fraction results. For example, medical records showing episodes of congestive heart failure or chronic heart failure can be used as evidence for determination by the Social Security Administration.
The applicant must also try to apply for any position for which they qualify. For instance, they might need to apply for a position in a field that they used to work in even if it has been several years since they’ve held a job in that field. In some instances, people who have a low ejection fraction might not be able to do their current job in construction, but they might be able to work as a sales clerk. The SSDI process includes an examination for your residual functional capacity, which is used in determining your ability to work.
When applying for benefits, one of the most important components of making a successful claim is to make sure that symptoms and initial incidents are recorded with a healthcare provider.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal an existing denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Ejection Fraction, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.