Heart Valve Disorders – Types And Symptoms You Should Know

Heart valve disease can affect any of your heart valves. Your heart valves have booklets that open and close with each heartbeat, allowing blood to flow through the upper and lower chambers of your heart and throughout your body. The upper chamber of the heart is the atrium and the lower chamber of the heart is the ventricle.

There are four valves in your heart:

Blood flows from the right and left atria through the triceps and mitral valves, which open to allow blood to flow into the right and left ventricles. This valve is then closed to prevent the return of blood to the atrium.

As the ventricles fill with blood, they begin to constrict, opening the pulmonary valves and aorta. The blood then enters the pulmonary arteries and veins. Pulmonary arteries carry deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs. The aorta, the largest artery in the body, carries oxygenated blood throughout the body.

The heart valve works to move blood forward, not backward, and does not cause leakage. If you have heart valve disease, the valve cannot do its job properly. This may be due to bleeding, called regurgitation, narrowing of the valve opening, called stenosis, or a combination of regurgitation and stenosis.

Some people with heart valve disease may have no symptoms, while others with valve disease may suffer stroke, heart attack and blood clots if left untreated.

Types Of Heart Valve Disorders

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral Valve Prolapse may be called as:

This occurs when the mitral valve does not close properly, sometimes causing bleeding in the left atrium.

Symptoms

Most people with mitral valve prolapse have no symptoms and therefore do not need treatment. However, the symptoms that indicate the need for treatment include:

  • Heart Palpitations
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Cough

Treatment involves surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.

Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

Bicuspid aortic valve disease occurs when a person is born with an aortic valve that has two leaflets instead of the usual three. In severe cases, the symptoms of this type of disorder are present at birth. However, some people may not know for decades that they have this type of disorder.

The valve can usually work for years without causing symptoms, so most people with biceps aortic valve do not get diagnosed until they are adults.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath during exercise
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Unconscious

Most people can successfully repair their aortic valve through surgery.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, 80% of people with this type of heart valve disease require surgery to repair or replace the valve. This is usually when they are between 30 and 40 years old.

Valvular Stenosis

Valvular stenosis occurs when a valve cannot open completely, meaning that not enough blood can pass through the valve. It can happen to any heart valve and can be caused by thickening or hardening of the heart valve.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Unconscious

Some people do not need treatment for valvular stenosis. Others may require surgery to replace or repair the valve. Depending on the severity of your stenosis and your age, valvuloplasty, which uses balloons to widen the valve, may be an option.

Valvular regurgitation

Vulvar regurgitation can also be called “leaky valve”. It occurs when one of the heart’s valves does not close properly, causing blood to flow backwards.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • heart beat
  • Dizziness
  • Swelling of the legs and ankles

The effects of valvular regurgitation vary from person to person. Some people just need to monitor their condition. Others may need medication to prevent fluid from accumulating, while others may require valve repair or replacement.

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