Heart Valve Leakage: Symptoms And Causes Of Heart Valve Leakage

Leaky heart valves can be mild or a severe condition that may potentially lead to death. Our heart valves serves as locks in the four compartments of our heart that when defective may cause mixture of oxygenate and unoxygenated blood.

Causes Of Heart Valve Leakage

  • Congenital defects – there are children born with defective heart valves that allows regurgitation or leak, malformed, or improperly attached valves.
  • Rheumatic fever – a type of heart disease from uncontrolled bacterial infection usually from a simple throat infection where the heart valves become inflamed, thickened, rigid, or shortened that leads to regurgitation.
  • Endocarditis – this type of heart inflammation is caused by microorganisms (esp. bacteria) and attacks the valves leading to destruction and causes the leakage. These germs may enter through dental extraction, intravenous lines, or other invasive procedures.
  • Excessive heart load that causes the papillary muscles (chordate tendinae) that holds the heart valves to stretch too much and tear.  This will lead to heart valve leakage.
  • Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) – in this condition, the heart valves become stretchy that cases leakage.
  • Other disease and condition may cause leakage like heart attack, disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), hypertension, or syphilis.

Heart Valve Leakage Symptoms

  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Shortness of breath exacerbated when exerting force or lying down
  • Easy fatigability
  • Cough notably at night while lying down in bed
  • Palpitations or a sensation of a skipped heart beat
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • A heart murmur or a swishing sound heard when doctors listen to your heart sounds
  • More than normal amounts off urine excreted per day
  • Chest pain or tightness characterized as burning, dull sensation as in angina
  • A feeling of faintness
  • Dizziness

Heart Valve Leakage Prognosis

The prognosis depends on the cause. MVP, heart attack, and cardiomyopathy presents poor prognosis. People with mild or no symptoms usually can resume their activities.

Heart Valve Leakage And Exercise

Is exercise good for people with mitral valve leakage?

Heavy exercise is usually contraindicated to lessen the heart’s workload.


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