Diagnosing Aortic Valve Disease in Northern California
Aortic valve disease refers to problems that affect the aortic valve in your heart. This valve allows blood to flow out of the heart. If it’s damaged in any way, it can create discomfort in your chest, leave you feeling out of breath after activity, and may lead to an unusual sound between heartbeats (a heart murmur).
If you or a loved one would like more information about aortic valve disease in Northern California, speak with an experienced cardiologist at Dignity Health North State. For the expertise and personal care you deserve, Find a Doctor online and make an appointment.
What is Aortic Valve Disease?
There are generally two types of aortic valve stenosis: regurgitation and stenosis. Regurgitation occurs when your aortic valve doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to flow back in the wrong direction (into the ventricle). With stenosis, the tissue of your valve becomes stiff or starts to thicken. This narrows the opening to the valve and prevents blood from flowing properly.
Aortic Valve Disease Symptoms
In many cases, you may not even know you have a problem until later on in the disease. When symptoms are present, they can include:
- A heart murmur, which is unusual sounds between each beat of your heart
- Shortness of breath, especially after physical exertion
- Feeling like you’re heart is pounding
- Chest pain or pressure
If you have one or more of these symptoms, meet with a Dignity Health North State doctor for a diagnosis and personalized care.
Aortic Valve Disease Causes
Aortic valve disease is either congenital (you’re born with it) or acquired. The main causes of acquired aortic valve stenosis are:
- Congestive heart failure
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Weakening of the aortic valve tissue with age
- Stiffening of the valve from calcium deposits caused by aging
- Aortic stenosis, caused by a thickening of the aortic wall
- Infections of the aortic valve
Aortic Valve Disease Treatment at Dignity Health North State
Treatment for aortic valve disease is centered on slowing its progression, minimizing the damage it causes, and restoring the normal function of your aortic valve.
Treatment for aortic valve regurgitation typically includes medication or surgery to repair or replace the valve. For aortic valve stenosis, your doctor may recommend watching and waiting. Serious cases may require surgery.
Aortic valve stenosis is not always preventable because it can occur from normal age-related tissue changes. The best thing you can do is treat any heart-related conditions, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and maintain a healthy diet with exercise. Have questions about your heart health?
Receive personalized treatment for aortic valve disease in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA, at Dignity Health North State.