Heart Valve Disease
Heart valve disease prevention and care
Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute can help you determine if your heart murmur signals an underlying heart valve problem and, if so, your best options for treating it and living a long and healthy life.
What is heart valve disease?
Heart valve disease occurs when any valve in the heart stops functioning correctly and interferes with your circulation. A valve that does not close completely, for instance, can cause blood to leak backward. Another common condition is “stenosis,” or a narrowing and stiffening of a valve that prevents it from opening fully.
Causes and risk factors
Heart valve disease may result from a congenital heart defect, such as a malformed valve, or develop with age as the function of the heart muscle deteriorates. It can also be caused by infections like rheumatic disease or endocarditis, which can scar a heart valve. Other risk factors include:
Symptoms of heart valve disease
You may not notice symptoms of heart valve disease until the condition is advanced, in which case you could suddenly experience symptoms, including:
- Heart murmur
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or fainting
- Irregular heartbeat