Over a million Canadians are affected by
heart valve disease
, yet public awareness is shockingly low. While some types will not be serious, others can result in major complications, sometimes causing lengthy hospitalization and even death.
The 4 valves in the guts keep blood flowing in the right direction. In heart valve disease, a number of of those valves don’t work properly, either by not opening or not closing enough. This makes the guts should work harder to maintain blood flowing and supply oxygen to the body — resulting in a lot of symptoms, including chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fainting spells, or palpitations.
Nevertheless, many would not have tell-tale symptoms, even when their heart may be very sick. For these people, a heart murmur, which is an unusual sound heard through a stethoscope, is a very important clue that something could be unsuitable.
While a heart murmur doesn’t at all times mean you will have a heart problem, it’s a clue which will point to a necessity for further testing.
Undetected or untreated heart valve disease could cause many future problems including stroke, blood clots, heart rhythm abnormalities and heart failure.
What causes heart valve disease?
Heart valve disease will be present at birth or develop from damage later in life, attributable to other cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, certain infections and inflammation, or radiation to the chest. The necessity for t
reatment relies on the severity of the disease. If the guts valve problem may be very minor, treatment will not be mandatory — only regular check-ups to watch the condition in case it gets worse. If the condition is more serious, more intensive treatment is required, akin to valve repair or alternative, together with medication. Today, less invasive treatment options are also available that allow patients to recuperate faster. The approach taken will rely on the person’s age, general health, which valve is affected, and the kind and severity of the condition.