Heart valve disease includes several ailments that avert one or several valves from functioning properly to provide proper circulation. If not properly managed, heart valve disease can disrupt the quality of life and can become dangerous. In most instances, the condition can be fixed or replaced surgically, restoring normal function and allowing one to return to normal activities.
Once the heart valves start to malfunction, the heart should strain to compensate for the diminished blood flow. After some time, the disease might progress to a point that the symptoms start to arise such as:
- Chest discomfort
- Increasing shortness of breath
- Rapid weight gain
- Edema or swelling of the feet, ankles or abdomen
- Dizziness or weakness
Is treatment possible?
It is important to note that heart valve disease can be managed with the following:
- Protect the valve from further damage
- Use the prescribed medications
- Surgery or invasive procedures if needed
- Regular check-ups with the doctor to monitor the condition
Individuals with heart valve disease must consult a doctor regarding the increased risk for developing infective endocarditis. This infection can significantly impair or destroy the heart valves and can also be deadly. One is also at risk if the valve has been fixed or replaced during surgery.
- The individual should inform his/her doctor and dentist of having heart valve disease
- Consulting the doctor if the symptoms of an infection are present
- Proper care of the teeth and gums
- Using antibiotics before undergoing any form of dental measures, major or minor surgical procedures or invasive testing.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on heart valve disease is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage this circulatory condition, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.