Valvular heart disease occurs when the functioning of the valve is disturbed for any reason. All four heart valves are located at the entrance of the heart chambers and regulate the unidirectional flow of blood.
Types of valvular heart disease
Doctors know several types of heart defects:
- Stenosis of the valve.This defect occurs when the valve clearance is reduced due to the fusion or sealing of the valve leaflets. In this case, vice greatly increased load on the heart as blood ejection becomes difficult to be made. Stenosis can affect all four valves.
- Insufficiency of the valve. This flaw is also known as "valve regurgitation." A distinguishing feature of this defect is that the valve can not be closed completely, so some of the blood flows back. Depending on whether a valve has undergone pathological changes, failure may be of a mitral, tricuspid, aortic or pulmonary artery.
Causes of heart defects
Heart defects can be congenital, that is, those that have appeared during fetal development, and acquisitions that person gets by various reasons for life. In some cases, the cause of the disease remains unknown.
- If such congenital heart disease does not manifest itself and the baby looks healthy? What to do in such a situation.
If the flaw is not critical, transactions do not need to be done in the first days of life. You can wait until the child becomes 2-3 years old and execute the procedure when needed.
Chief Physician at NPMTSDKK Ministry of Health of Ukraine, Candidate of Medical Science, anesthesiologist
Congenital heart flaws
Usually, congenital heart valves are mainly aortic or pulmonary ones. These valves can have an irregular shape or attach to the ring cusps in an unexpected way.
Acquired heart flaws
Defects of this type occur under the influence of various negative factors. Such defects can affect the structure of the valve, that is, change it, under the influence of infectious diseases, such as rheumatic fever or endocarditis,.
There are many changes that may occur with the valves of the heart. For example, the papillary muscles may be subjected to tension, the leaflets are subject to change and may thicken or become thinner, and so on.
Mitral valve prolapse
This pathology is considered to wash away "harmless" from heart defects, and it affects about two percent of the world's population. PMC is common for sagging mitral valve, resulting in its course. Typically, this condition does not require correction, but one must visit a doctor to timely respond to the deterioration.
What are the symptoms of heart defects?
Symptoms of the majority of valvular heart deffects are the same, the only difference lies in the intensity of symptoms:
- Short-of-breath feeling or dyspnea. Most frequently it occurs after exercising or when the patient takes a horizontal position. In order to facilitate breathing during sleep, you can use several pillows.
- Dizziness, weakness or semiconscious state. This condition may occur suddenly, even after the usual daily stress.
- The feeling of discomfort in the chest. This symptom is mainly manifested during the sudden changes in temperature, for example, when it;s cold when you go outdoors.
- Heartbeat. Heart can beat at a rapid pace, get off, skip beats and stuff.
- Swelling of the abdomen, ankles, feet.
- The rapid increase in body weight.
Treatment of valvular heart diseases
Treatment of these diseases depends entirely on their severity. The main tasks set by the doctor during the treatment of heart diseases are:
- Valve protection from further damage.
- The decrease in the degree of manifestation of symptoms.
- Recovery of the valve or a complete replacement.
The main danger with valvular disease is a risk of endocarditis. It should be noted that the risk of developing this disease is minimal only in case of the mitral valve prolapse.
Even after valve replacement by surgical means, the risk of endocarditis is still there, so, as for preventive measure, you should adhere to the following rules:
- You sould inform all your physicians, including a dentist, that you have a heart disease or had undergone a surgery to replace the valve.
- If you have any symptoms of the infection, such as fever or sore throat, you should immediately call your cardiologist.
- The condition of the teeth should be monitored carefully and you sould visit the dentist regularly.
- Any medical procedure which may be accompanied by bleeding, should take place using prophylactic antibiotic therapy. This even includes such procedures as invasive diagnostic methods or dental procedures.
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