Leaky Heart Valve Treatment And Symptoms

A leaky heart valve could mean any of the valvular heart diseases that has been plaguing about 5 million of Americans each year, as reported by the American Heart Association. Valvular heart disease happens when the valves of your heart malfunction. There are four chambers of the heart and each chamber has a heart valve that facilitates a one-way flow of blood inside your heart. The presence of these heart valves maintain a forward flow and prohibits a backward flow or leakage.

There are different kinds of a heart valve disease. One of which is valvular insufficiency or what is commonly referred to as a leaky valve. This happens when one of your valves fail to tightly close. Since it is not able to seal off the heart chamber, there will be leakage of seepage of the blood towards the other chamber. At the first sign of a leaky heart valve, there are no immediate symptoms because your heart will try to compensate by pumping harder in order to maintain enough blood flow. However, the after effect, which is diminished blood flow to the rest of the body, will force your body to show some signs and symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of valvular insufficiency depend on which of the valves are affected.

For aortic valve insufficiency, the symptoms may only become apparent after several years. Symptoms may include:

• Easy fatigability and weakness during increased physical activity

• Difficulty breathing especially when lying flat or when there is exertion

• Chest discomfort, pain, or tightness

• Episodes of fainting

• Irregular rate of your pulse

• Swelling of ankles and feet

For mitral valve insufficiency, the symptoms are dependent on the extent of the leakage. Symptoms may include:

• Presence of a turbulent heart sound, referred to as heart murmur.

• Shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing with physical activity or when lying down

• Easy fatigability

• Dizziness

• Excessive coughing when lying down or during nighttime

• Rapid heartbeat

• Increased episodes of urinating

Usually, this kind of a leaky heart valve progresses slowly and is mild in nature. Some of the patients only find out they have the disease when they undergo routine examination.

For tricuspid valve insufficiency, the symptoms may not be present at all. However, there are findings that may suggest that you have the disease like:

• Visible pulsing of your neck veins

• Low urine output

• Easy fatigability

• Anasarca or swelling of the whole body

• Body malaise

For pulmonary valve insufficiency, the symptoms are sometimes not clinically significant. Nevertheless, it should be a cause of worry when symptoms begin to worsen or when there is evidence of a right sided heart failure that happens when there is decompensation and enlargement of the right ventricle. Symptoms of this leaky heart valve may include:

• Dyspnea or difficulty of breathing during physical activity

• Lightheadedness

• Bipedal edema

• Easy fatigability

• Weakness

• Chest pain and palpitations

• Abdominal distension


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