Signs of Heart Valve Disease

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States and often affects the elderly. One common form of heart disease is heart valve disease, which affects around 2.5 percent of the population. This condition occurs when the valve of the heart becomes damaged or dies, and if left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage. However, with advancements in medicine and early detection, patients are more likely to continue leading high-quality lives.

Various types of heart valve disease exist and are classified according to the specific valve that they affect. But here are general signs to look out for:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced exercise tolerance
  • Chest pain and discomfort
  • Difficulty in completing everyday tasks
  • Swelling in the lower extremities
  • Palpitation
  • Dyspnea
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Pressure in the chest
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat

When the condition advances, the patient may experience symptoms such as swelling of the legs and abnormal breathing sounds.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, please schedule an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible. Heart valve disease can be deadly if it’s left untreated. It can result in problems like heart failure, enlarged heart, loss of consciousness, fluid build-up in the lungs, and even sudden death.

Some common ways of preventing heart valve disease include:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating a healthy balanced diet, and managing stress levels.
  • Treating hypertension and other artery-related diseases to prevent the accumulation of plaque in the valves.
  • Going for regular screening to detect heart murmurs early.

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