There are four one-way valves, or flaps, in your heart. Blood flows in and out of them. These valves can become damaged by a heart condition, an illness, or simply from getting older. Heart valve disease is usually not an emergency, but you should get treatment as soon as you know about it.
Dignity Health North State can address your heart valve disease in Northern California with personal care. If you or a loved one would like to meet with a cardiologist, Find a Doctor at a heart center near you:
Heart Valve Disease Symptoms
You might not know you have a heart valve problem until your doctor diagnoses it during a medical exam. In many cases, the only sign is a heart murmur or other abnormal sounds that your doctor hears while listening through a stethoscope.
If symptoms are present, they can include:
- Chest pain
- Fluttering feeling in your chest
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat from physical activity or stress
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in your feet and legs
A Dignity Health North State doctor can diagnose your symptoms and provide the right course of treatment.
Heart Valve Disease Causes
You can develop heart valve disease for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Being born with congenital abnormalities (congenital valve disease)
- Normal process of aging causing stiffening heart tissue
- Untreated illness, including rheumatic fever caused by a strep infection
- Infection of the lining of the heart
- Related heart conditions, such as heart attack and high blood pressure
Heart Valve Disease Treatment at Dignity Health North State
The goal of treatment for heart valve disease is to repair or replace a damaged valve and relieve any existing symptoms. With the right treatment, your doctor can help you improve your quality of life and prevent further damage to your heart valves. Your treatment options may include medication or surgery, depending on the cause and severity of your condition.
You should always seek treatment for infections, such as strep throat, which can lead to further complications. As with most cardiovascular problems, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help prevent heart valve disease. Talk with your doctor at Dignity Health North State to learn more.
Receive personal care for heart valve disease in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA, at Dignity Health North State hospitals and outpatient heart centers.