Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular Heart Disease

The human heart has four valves between the four chambers, allowing blood to flow in only one direction. They are mitral, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic valves. Any damage or fault to any four valves is called valvular heart disease.

Valvular heart disease has various conditions that can occur due to damaged valves:

  • Regurgitation: Leaky valves where the blood flows back into the chamber

  • Stenosis: Valves become narrow and restrict blood flow

  • Prolapse: A disorder where the valve flap is out of plac

Valvular heart disease affects more than one heart valve, hindering the heart’s functioning. It may lead to heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest. The treatment of valvular heart disease is designed to protect the valve from further damage, ease symptoms, and repair defects. The suggested remedy is based on the severity of the patient’s condition. It includes lifestyle changes, or in severe condition, valve repair, or replacement.

What are the risk factors and symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease?

Risk factors that are associated with valvular heart disease include:

  • Rheumatic fever

  • Infections

  • Coronary artery disease

  • Hypertension

  • High cholesterol

  • Obesity

  • Congenital disabilities

  • Old age

Valvular heart disease can develop slowly, or it can progress rapidly. It is often difficult to notice symptoms until the disease has progressed so far that it causes heart function problems. Some common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Palpitations

  • Abnormal heartbeat

  • High alcohol consumption

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Swelling

You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. There is an increased risk of heart disease among women, so if there is any history of heart disease in your family, check with a doctor.

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