Valve disease refers to a condition in which one or more of the valves in the heart are not functioning properly. There are four valves in the heart: the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the tricuspid valve, and the pulmonary valve. Each of these valves plays an important role in regulating blood flow through the heart and to the rest of the body.
Your doctor will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to check for abnormal sounds thatmay be caused by damaged valves. Echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart and its valves. It can help to determine the severity of the valve disease and whether surgery is necessary. During cardiac catheterization, a thin tube is inserted into a blood vessel and advanced to the heart. It can be used to measure blood pressure in the heart and assess the function of the valves. Cardiac MRI uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the heart and its valves. Cardiac CT scan uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the heart and its valves.
It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of valve disease, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or fatigue. It's also important to see a doctor if you have a family history of heart problems or if you have any risk factors for valve disease, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
If you have been diagnosed with valve disease, it's important to follow your doctor's recommendations for treatment and attend follow-up appointments as scheduled. It's also important to report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, as these may indicate that the valve disease is progressing.
In some cases, valve disease can be cured with surgery to repair or replace the damaged valves. However, in other cases, valve disease may be chronic and require ongoing medical management.
Certain types of valve disease, such as certain congenital heart defects, can be inherited. However, not all valve disease is hereditary.
In some cases, valve disease can be treated with medications or lifestyle changes. However, in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged valves.
Valve disease can be treated in older adults, although the treatment options may be different than for younger individuals. It's important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor.
Visit a doctor when you are suffering from heart problems!