Valvular Heart Disease
Valvular heart disease is a condition in which the heart's valves are damaged or not working properly.
What is Valvular Heart Disease?
The heart has four valves that regulate blood flow: the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the tricuspid valve, and the pulmonic valve. When the valves do not work properly, they can either not close tightly enough, allowing blood to leak backwards, or not open fully, which can restrict blood flow.
What causes Valvular Heart Disease?
The most common causes of valvular heart disease include:
Congenital heart defects: Some people are born with abnormal heart valves, which can cause problems later in life.
Age-related changes: As people age, their heart valves can become stiff and thickened, which can restrict blood flow.
Rheumatic fever: This condition, which is caused by untreated strep throat, can damage heart valves.
Infections: Endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining and valves, can also damage heart valves.
What are some symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease?
Symptoms of valvular heart disease can include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain or discomfort, heart palpitations, swelling of the ankles, feet, or abdomen, and lightheadedness or fainting.
How is Valvular Heart Disease Treated?
Treatment options for valvular heart disease may include medication to manage symptoms, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgery to repair or replace damaged heart valves.
It is important to receive appropriate medical care for valvular heart disease to prevent complications and improve outcomes. Regular follow-up with your doctor is important to monitor the condition and adjust treatment as needed.
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