Valvular heart disease is when the heart valves, which regulate the blood flow, become damaged or dysfunctional. It can impact the efficiency of the heart’s pumping action and may cause various symptoms and complications. Indicators of valvular heart disease include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and palpitations. Murmurs, and abnormal heart sounds, may be detected during physical examinations. Oedema, fainting, and decreased exercise tolerance are also potential signs. Diagnostic tests like echocardiograms help assess valve function and severity. Early detection and management are crucial for preventing complications and ensuring optimal heart health.
Sign and Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease
Understanding the symptoms and indicators of valvular heart disease is vital for early detection and management. Watch for signs like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, palpitations, and fainting. Abnormal heart sounds, or murmurs may be noticed during check-ups. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical evaluation. Diagnostic tests like echocardiograms help assess the condition, enabling timely intervention to prevent complications and promote heart health.
Depending on the particular valve damage and the severity of the problem, valvular heart disease can show various symptoms and signs.
Sign and Symptoms of Pulmonary Valve Disease
- Fatigue: Individuals with pulmonary valve disease may feel unusually tired, reflecting the heart’s struggle to maintain efficient circulation.
- Heart Murmurs: Abnormal heart sounds, detected with a stethoscope, may indicate pulmonary valve disease.
- Chest Pain: Typically, this is mild discomfort and might not be as pronounced as in other types of heart conditions.
- Shortness of Breath: Especially noticeable during exertion, it occurs because the compromised pulmonary valve reduces blood flow to the lungs.
- Cyanosis: A bluish skin, lips, or fingertips tint might occur due to insufficient blood oxygenation.
Signs and Symptoms of Mitral Valve Disease
- Fatigue: Mitral valve disease can cause tiredness, even with minimal exertion. The heart’s compromised function affects overall energy levels.
- Heart Palpitations: You may experience irregular or rapid heartbeats (palpitations) due to the valve’s inability to regulate blood flow properly.
- Swollen Ankles or Legs: The condition can lead to fluid retention, causing swelling in the ankles and legs.
- Coughing: The cough may produce pink, frothy sputum, especially at night or when lying flat.
- Breathing Difficulty: Known as orthopnea, this symptom occurs when lying down and results from fluid accumulation in the lungs.
Signs and Symptoms of Aortic Valve Disease
- Shortness of Breath: This symptom is common in aortic valve disease, particularly during physical exertion or when lying down. It occurs because the damaged valve doesn’t allow efficient blood flow, leading to fluid accumulation in the lungs.
- Chest Pain or Discomfort: Aortic valve disease can cause chest pain, often described as tightness or pressure. It might be mistaken for angina (heart-related chest pain).
- Heart Murmurs: When a doctor listens to your heart with a stethoscope, they may detect abnormal sounds called heart murmurs, which can indicate aortic valve disease.
- Fatigue: Another common symptom is feeling excessively tired, especially after physical activities.
- Dizziness or Fainting: Reduced blood flow from the heart due to the malfunctioning aortic valve can lead to dizziness or fainting.
Signs and Symptoms of Tricuspid Valve Disease
- Swelling in the Abdomen: Tricuspid valve disease can lead to fluid accumulation in the abdomen, causing swelling (ascites).
- Swollen Neck Veins: When standing, the jugular veins in the neck may become visibly engorged due to impaired blood flow back to the heart.
- Fatigue: People with tricuspid valve disease often experience ongoing fatigue, even with light activities.
- Enlarged Liver: A doctor may detect an enlarged liver during a physical examination.
- Fluid Retention: This may result in ankle and leg oedema.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert cardiology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Understanding the signs of valvular heart disease is crucial for early detection and intervention. Spotting the symptoms and indicators described above can help patients to get better and timely medical attention.
Q. Is valvular heart disease treatable?
A. Depending on the severity, there are various therapy choices, including dietary modifications, prescription drugs, and even surgical procedures like valve replacement or repair. Increased odds of successful therapy result from early detection.
Q. How is valvular heart disease diagnosed?
A. Diagnosis involves a combination of physical exams, imaging tests (echocardiogram, MRI, CT scan), and assessing symptoms and medical history.
Q. Can valvular heart disease cause sudden cardiac events?
A. In some cases, severe valvular disease can lead to sudden cardiac events like heart failure or arrhythmias.
Q. What are the common symptoms of valvular heart disease?
A. Breathlessness, exhaustion, chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, swollen ankles, and dizziness are typical symptoms.
Q. Are there specific risk factors for developing valvular heart disease?
A. Risk factors include age, a history of heart conditions, high blood pressure, infections, certain genetic conditions, and rheumatic fever.