When a heart is working properly, it utilizes four separate valves. These valves have tissue flaps that open and close when the heart beats. Each flap is used to regulate blood flow and pump blood throughout the body. However, when there are certain types of heart conditions, such as heart valve disease, various adverse symptoms can occur.
Heart Valve Disease Symptoms
Heart valve disease is a term for health conditions involving one or more heart valve that is malfunctioning or otherwise not working properly. Unfortunately, when the heart valves aren’t working properly, they can cause a wide range of negative health symptoms. These symptoms can include shortness of breath, fainting, fatigue, swelling in the lower legs, and an irregular heartbeat.
The irregular heartbeat typically presents itself as a heart murmur. However, it is important to note that a heart murmur is not always indicative of heart valve disease. It can actually be a sign of other heart conditions. Fortunately, a cardiologist can diagnose the cause of the heart murmur, as well as the presence of heart valve disease.
Heart Valve Disease Causes
There are several reasons why heart valve disease can occur. The most common conditions that can lead to heart valve disease include:
- Pre-existing heart conditions that place a strain on the heart valves
- Age-related changes to the body
- Certain infections and rheumatic fever
- High blood pressure for a prolonged period of time
- Damage to the heart, including scar tissue, caused by either a heart attack or heart injury
- Atherosclerosis in the arteries and aorta
- Reduced flexibility in the heart valve
- Changes to the shape of the heart valve
It’s important to note that the exact cause for heart valve disease will also depend on your current (and previous) lifestyle choices, as well as hereditary causes. If you are concerned about your potential for heart valve disease, or if you are already experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you should plan on scheduling a heart screening with a trusted cardiologist.
Get Screened for Heart Valve Problems at Brookhaven Heart
To date, there are no medicines that can cure heart valve disease. However, there are certain lifestyle changes and surgeries that can be used to either repair or replace the faulty heart valve. The good news is that the team of cardiologists, doctors, and surgeons at Brookhaven Heart can help you take proactive steps to correct your heart valve disease. From lowering high blood pressure and detecting an irregular heartbeat to treating coronary heart disease and preventing heart failure, the Brookhaven Heart team will help you live a heart healthy lifestyle.
Contact Brookhaven Heart today at 631-654-3278 to schedule a screening for potential heart valve problems, discuss your current symptoms, and take a proactive approach to heart valve disease. We have three locations serving Long Island, New York: Patchogue, New Hyde Park, and Hicksville.