The following symptoms commonly occur with heart failure. A person with heart failure may experience all of them, some of them, or none of them, at least early on.
Shortness of breath. When your blood “backs up,” fluid can leak into your lungs, which causes you to be short of breath. You can also experience shortness of breath if you retain fluid in other parts of your body that press against your lungs. Shortness of breath can occur during activity, at rest, or when sleeping. You may wake up suddenly feeling as if you are suffocating, or just wake up feeling tired, anxious, and restless.
Cough or wheeze. This occurs because of the fluid in your lungs. You may have a dry, hacking cough, or you may cough up white or pink, blood-tinged mucus.
Swelling. Fluid retention, called edema, can occur as blood flow slows down. When this happens, your kidneys become less able to get rid of sodium and water, which causes you to retain yet more fluid. You may experience swelling of your feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or face, possibly causing shoes or rings to feel tight. You may also experience weight gain because of fluid retention.