Your heart contains four one-way flaps, or valves, that let blood to flow into and out of the heart. When one of these valves has a problem working, it’s called heart valve disease. The values can stop working correctly because of illness, aging, or an underlying heart condition. Heart valve disease usually isn’t an emergency, but in rare cases can lead to heart attack.
If you’re concerned about heart valve disease in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, take our online heart health assessment. To find a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican cardiologist, call (702) 616-4900 or use our online Find a Doctor tool.
Causes of Heart Valve Disease in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV
Common causes of heart valve disease include:
- Being born with a heart valve problem (congenital valve disease)
- Stiffening and other changes to heart valve tissues due to normal aging
- Untreated illnesses
- Heart conditions such as high blood pressure
- Rheumatic fever caused by an untreated bacterial infection
- Congenital defects that happen while the baby is forming in the womb
- Heart attack with serious scarring
- Infection of the lining of the heart
Heart Valve Disease Symptoms
Most people with heart valve disease don’t have any symptoms. An abnormal sound that your doctor hears through a stethoscope may be the only sign of a heart valve problem. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a “heart murmur,” that’s the same as being told you have heart valve disease.
Sometimes, people have symptoms that include:
- Chest pain
- Racing heartbeat during exercise
- Heart palpitations (fluttering) with physical exertion
- Signs of congestive heart failure such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling of the feet and legs
Heart Valve Disease Treatment & Prevention
At Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican, treating and preventing heart valve disease may include:
- Heart valve surgery to replace or repair damaged valves
- Avoiding valve damage caused by other medical conditions
- Treatments to improve quality of life by easing symptoms
Surgery to repair or replace a diseased valve is sometimes necessary. However, medications can treat some heart valve diseases. Your choice of treatment will depend on the severity and
cause of your heart valve disease.
Not all cases of heart valve trouble can be prevented. You can reduce your risk by exercising regularly, eating a heart-healthy diet, and promptly treating infections such as strep throat, which can damage the heart valves.
Talk to your doctor about our cardiac nutrition and fitness classes to support your heart health.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals can help prevent and treat heart valve disease in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.