Heart Valve Disease
Mitral or aortic heart valve disease occurs when your heart valves no longer open or close efficiently to pump blood to your body
What Are Heart Valves?
Heart valves are one-way gates that keep blood flowing between four chambers of the heart. Each of the four valves let blood circulate through the heart and out to the rest of your body. The valves then close to keep blood from leaking back in the wrong direction. The heart’s chambers and valves all work together to keep blood flowing correctly.
There are four basic types of heart valve disease:
Heart Valve Disease: Causes & Symptoms
What Causes Heart Valve Disease?
Diseases, either congenital or acquired, occurring early or later in life, can change the shape or flexibility of your heart valves. Heart valves can be affected by:
- Age-related changes
- Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders causing tissue weakness
- Congenitally abnormal valves
- Rheumatic fever
Early in the disease process you may not experience any symptoms. If your condition becomes more severe you may begin to notice:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Excessive tiredness or fatigue
- Heart palpitations
- Leg swelling