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Heart valve disease

A heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood to your lungs and the rest part of your body. Heart valves are thin flap of tissue that open and close as your heart pumps. The main function of your heart valve is to prevent the backflow of blood. The aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid valves are the four valves of the heart. Heart valves can be harmed by a variety of factors.

In heart valve disease, the valves of your heart do not work efficiently. This can affect the amount of blood pumped in and out of your heart. It also disrupts the functioning of the heart and lead to mixing of blood.

The valves open and close when the heart muscle contracts and relaxes, allowing blood to flow alternately into the ventricles and out to the parts of your body.

Step-by-step breakdown of how blood moves through the heart: –
  1. Once filled with blood, the left and right atriums close. The tricuspid and mitral valves are forced open as a result. After then, blood is pushed into the ventricles.
  2. When the heart contracts the right and left ventricles pump blood out of the heart together. The tricuspid and mitral valves are closed, restricting the flow of the blood backward. The aortic and pulmonic valves open simultaneously to allow blood to be pumped out from the heart.
  3. When the right and left ventricles relax. The aortic and pulmonic valves close to stop blood from flowing backward. Whereas the mitral and tricuspid valves then open to allow forward blood flow within the heart to fill the ventricles again.
  • Stenosis – Stenosis is narrowing or stiffening of the valve that prevents adequate blood flow. Your heart will have to work harder to push blood past the impediment if you have stenosis because the valve may block blood flow.
  • Regurgitation – In regurgitation, valves don’t close properly and allow blood to flow back up. Your heart will have to make more effort to pump the blood forward to counteract the blood flowing backward because of leakage in the valve.
  • Prolapse — The valve leaflets (or valves) do not close properly, causing a small leak.
  • Atresia — The valve is not properly formed or absent from birth.
If heart valve problems make it difficult for the heart to Awork. If overtime the heart problem left untreated, this can lead to heart failure.

The causes of heart valve disease are:

  • Congenital heart defects – A heart defect present at birth that’s not treated on time may get severe later and cause other problems. (Less developed pulmonary/aortic valve)
  • Heart attack – Your heart is functioning less efficiently because of heart attack.
  • Elevated blood pressure levels(advanced).
  • Valve tissue calcification or degeneration with progressive function loss.
  • Ageing – Valves may get weaken or harden as you get old.
  • Aortic aneurysm in the thorax (dilation of the aorta, which stretches the aortic valve leaflets and can cause leakage).
  • Certain heart conditions including infective endocarditis, rheumatic fever, heart attack, poorly controlled high blood pressure and heart failure can also affect the function of heart valve.

Following is the symptoms of heart valve disease:

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting (dizziness)
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Enlarged ankles or feet (swelling)
  • Pain in your abdomen due to liver enlargement.

When heart valves do not function properly, usually it makes a murmur sound while opening and closing. If you have any symptoms of heart valve disease, your doctor will suggest you the following tests to diagnose your heart condition: –

  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise stress echocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
These tests help your doctor to diagnose the disease more accurately.

Treatment for heart valve disease depends on your symptoms, the severity of your illness, and if it is becoming severe day by day. Care will be provided by a physician (cardiologist) with specialized training in heart disease. Monitoring your condition through many follow-up visits may be part of the treatment.

  • Valve surgery– In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged valve.
  • Valve replacement – Sometimes the valve must be removed and replaced with a new one.

Your doctor can help you understand the best suitable options for you.

Majority of people who suffer from heart valve disease should take medications to cure. Frequently, if your heart valve sickness has been found while it is still in the beginning phases, it tends to be all around oversaw for a long time just by taking prescriptions.

The following are a portion of the prescriptions that are used for treating heart valve sickness.

  • Proinhibitors (angiotensin-changing over catalyst inhibitors) loosen up the veins and diminish the measure of work the heart needs to do.
  • Hostile to arrhythmics are utilized to treat unpredictable heart rhythms.
  • Beta-blockers act by easing back the pulse and diminishing how much work the heart needs to do.
  • Diuretics urge the body to deliver pee, and can assuage the development of liquid in the lungs and in the lower legs and legs.
  • Nitrates enlarge or extend the veins, making it more straightforward for the heart to siphon blood around the body and taking the strain off the heart.
  • You may likewise have to take anticoagulants.

Various drugs are utilized for various kinds of heart valve disease. Your cardiologist will prescribe you medications that are appropriate for your specific valve condition. The medications are just for reading purpose only, do not use for self-diagnosis. 

Your recovery depends on several factors, for fast recovery you should:

  • Change your lifestyle for the better.
  • Go for regular check-ups.
  • Eat medicines on time and complete the doses.
  • Follow a healthy eating plan.
  • If you have atrial fibrillation, a specific type of abnormal heart rhythm, take blood thinners to lower your risk of blood clots.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or smoke
  • Try to stay physically active.
  • Strictly follow the instructions of your healthcare provider.

When a heart valve doesn’t work properly, it puts strain on your heart because it makes it harder for it to work. In addition, it can reduce the overall blood circulation in your body.

Heart valve surgery is performed when there is a need to replace or repair heart valves that are not working properly. Most valve replacements include aortic and mitral valves. The aortic valve separates the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of your heart) and the aorta (the main artery that carries blood to the body from the heart). The mitral valve separates the left atrium from the left ventricle.

Majority of people with a gentle break in the valve are alive for atleast five years after diagnosis. Nonetheless, if you don’t treat on time, endurance drops way off, drifting around 60% making due at five years. Along these lines, it is important the way your valve leaks.

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