Specialist Travel Insurance for Cardiomyopathy
What is Cardiomyopathy?
Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle – ‘cardio’ (Heart) ‘myo’ (Muscle) ‘pathy’ (Disease) and is a group of conditions that affects around 160,000 people in the UK† of all ages.
It can affect the size and shape of the heart, as well as the thickness of the muscle walls. These factors change how the heart functions. Depending on how the heart is affected, will result in the type of Cardiomyopathy a person will have.
The symptoms of Cardiomyopathy include:
- Pain in the chest
- Tiredness (caused by low oxygen levels)
- Swelling in the abdomen and ankles
- Breathlessness (caused by fluid on the lungs)
- Dizziness and/or fainting
Cardiomyopathy can be acquired due to a viral infection, autoimmune diseases and some medication, as well as inherited – caused by a mutation of a person’s DNA.
Researchers continue to look for the genetic links to Cardiomyopathy and to explore how these links cause, or can contribute to, the various types of the disease. In many cases, the exact cause of Cardiomyopathy isn’t known – this is often the case when the disease occurs in children.
Although there is currently no cure, the following treatment options aim to control and reduce the symptoms, and improve quality of life:
- Medication known as beta-blockers help to control heart rate.
- Anti-coagulants help to reduce the chance of blood clots forming.
- Diuretics help to reduce the build-up of fluid in the body that causes swelling.
- Pacemakers can be surgically implanted to control the rhythm of the heart.
- An ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) can be implanted which shocks the heart if it goes out of normal rhythm.
- Some people have surgery to remove areas of heart muscle if it affects blood flow from the heart.
- In rare cases (due to the risk involved and lack of suitable donors) a heart transplant may be considered.
Holidaying with Cardiomyopathy
We realise that living with Cardiomyopathy will have its challenges, however enjoying a relaxing holiday may help, regardless of whether you’ve been diagnosed recently or having lived with it for some time. Forward planning is crucial and we suggest before booking any trip that you to talk to your doctor or specialist, as they’ll be able to confirm that you’re well enough for travel. You can also discuss the things you should and shouldn’t be doing during your time away.
If Cardiomyopathy has made it difficult for you to find an appropriate travel insurance policy in the past, Free Spirit may be able to help.
It’s easy to get an online quote for Cardiomyopathy travel insurance from our website, which includes online medical screening. This involves us asking you various questions about your existing medical condition(s) to determine your policy terms and premium. In some cases, you will be asked to call us so that we can ask you some additional questions.
By covering your medical condition(s), Free Spirit gives you the protection you need when travelling.
Some questions we may ask:
During the quote process, we will ask you certain questions about your Cardiomyopathy, including:
- Do you have any further investigation or treatment planned?
- How short of breath do you get when you are walking on the flat?
- Have you ever had angina and/or a heart attack?
- Do you have (or are you on medication for) heart-related breathlessness or ankle swelling?
- Are you on medication to thin the blood (excluding aspirin)?
- Have you ever been a smoker?
We like to do things thoroughly at Free Spirit, so there may well be other questions we’ll ask you. This just helps us ensure you get the right cover for your medical condition(s).
We’re here to help
If you’d like to know more about our specialist Cardiomyopathy travel insurance, or have any questions whilst getting an online quote, visit our frequently asked questions page or call our friendly UK-based customer services team freephone on 0800 170 7704. We are open Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm (closed Bank Holidays).
† Source: Cardiomyopathy UK website.
Please note that Free Spirit is not linked to, or responsible for any external websites mentioned in this article.
Last updated: 26th September 2016.