Many people who have been suffering from a leaky heart valve have been born with the condition. For most of these people, they were found to have telltale murmurs of a problematic heart. However, there are those who are only diagnosed with the condition in their adult life. There are also those who don’t know that they have the condition until they suffer from the only symptom which is heart attack.
There are many types of cardiovascular conditions, but those who suffer from leaky heart valve may have acquired such condition from other cardiac illnesses such as rheumatic heart disease, heart attack, or the infective endocarditis. Children who suffer from strep throat may suffer from rheumatic heart disease as a result or they may suffer from heart valves that are problematic.
Other causes of heart valve problems are bacterial infections and also endocarditis of the heart. Such infection may result from medical procedures like surgery or dental procedure wherein bacteria were able to enter the system. In this case, the heart’s valves have been scarred because of the infection and this may result to heart valve regurgitation. This is the backflow of blood back going through the valve.
There are several tests that can be done to identify and diagnose a heart valve condition. These are chest x-ray, electrocardiography, echocardiogram, and cardiac catheterization. Another common heart condition is atrial fibrillation (Afib). This is a common rhythm abnormality of the heart.
A normal heart has a constant and regular rhythm and it beats at around 60 to 100 times every minute when not active. For a person with Afib, the person suffers from disorganized and irregular heartbeat.
The rate of impulses that run through the atria may range from 300 to 600 beats every minute. There are different classifications of Afib according to the atrial fibrillation guidelines.
- Paroxysmal Afib- means that the afib episodes are terminated right away and within a period of 7 days.
- Persistent Afib- means that the episodes last more than 7 days.
- Permanent Afib- means that afib failed cardioversion or conversion to normal heart rhythm or if cardioversion was not attempted.
- Non-valvular Afib-means that afib occurs even without any prior disease that involves the heart valves.
- Lone Afib- this means afib happens in a young person who has had no evidence of prior heart ailment.
There are those who suffer from afib that don’t experience symptoms. The others may suffer from the following symptoms: shortness of breath, giddiness, palpitations, chest discomfort, and fatigue.
There are also several factors that may put a person at risk for afib. These are chronic renal failure, aging, heart failure, obesity, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome.
What makes afib dangerous is that it can increase the chance for stroke. A person who has afib is 3 to 5 times more likely to suffer from stroke than a person who doesn’t have it. Afib may also lead to heart failure.
There are three ways to manage atrial fibrillation: to slow down the heart rate, to prevent stroke, and to restore and sustain normal heart rhythm.