Heart Valve Disease

1 What is Heart Valve Disease?

The heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction.

The valves open and close once during each heartbeat. Sometimes, the valves don't open or close properly, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to the rest of the body.

In a condition called stenosis, a valve isn't able to open properly.

In a condition called regurgitation, a valve doesn't close properly and can leak.

Heart valve disease includes:

Your heart valve disease treatment depends on the valve affected and the type and severity of the valve disease. Sometimes heart valve disease requires heart valve surgery.

2 Symptoms

The following are heart valve disease symptoms:

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3 Causes

There are various causes for the different heart valve diseases.

These causes may include:

Other causes are

  • aortic aneurysm,
  • atheroslerosis,
  • myxomtous (weakening of connective tissue in the mitral valve)
  • and lupus, which is a chronic autoimmune disorder.

4 Making a Diagnosis

If one is experiencing any symptoms of heart valve disease, the doctor will begin the diagnosis by listening to the heart using a stethoscope.

They usually listen for any heart rate abnormalities that may indicate any problem with the heart valves.

The doctor will also listen to the lungs to determine if there is fluid buildup and check for any signs of water retention.

Other tests that may be used to diagnosed heart valve disorder include:

5 Treatment

Several treatment methods exist for heart valve disease.

Several medications can be prescribed, which include Beta-blockers and calcium channel blockerw that can help control heart rat and blood flow and diuretics can be used to reduce fluid retention,vasolidators can be used to open or dilate blood vessels.

Surgery can also be necessary if symptoms increase in severity. This includes heart valve repair which can be done using: one's own tissue, an animal valve in case of a biological valve replacement.

A donated valve from another individual can also be used and finally a mechanical or artificial valve.

Valvuloplasty may be used to treat stenosis. During valvuloplasty, a doctor inserts a small balloon into the heart when it is inflated slightly. The inflation increases the size of the opening in the valve and the balloon is then removed.

6 Lifestyle and Coping

When one suffers from Heart Valve Disease, it may be necessary to make lifestyle changes.

When an individual has had heart valve disease, it is very important that they learn how to protect themselves from any future heart problems even when the valve has been repaired by or replace using surgery.

It is important to ask the doctor if their is risk of infective endocarditis. This infection can greatly damage or destroy heart valves and be very fatal.

By following the doctors instructions on preventing infective endocarditis such as taking recommended medications can help prevent any heart conditions from reoccurring.

7 Risks and Complications

The risks of heart valve disease depend on the type of disorder in question.

For example, Mitral stenosis is more prominent in woman than it is in men, about 70% of all cases are linked to women.

The elderly are also more likely to develop heart valve syndrome, specifically, a case of aortic valve disease.

About 25% of men and women with this condition are above the age of 65. Approximately 2 to 3 percent of people over the age of 75 frequently require surgical correction.

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