Blood flows in and out of your heart through four one-way valves, or flaps. Heart valve disease occurs when any of the four valves stops functioning well. This can be due to aging, an illness, or an underlying heart condition. Usually a heart valve issue is not considered an emergency, but rarely it can lead to a heart attack.
You can find a comprehensive heart care services at Dignity Health Southern California from a team of expert cardiologists and specialists. We address your heart health with personalized care from prevention to diagnosis to treatment.
To learn more about our trusted treatment for heart valve disease at one of our convenient locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino, Find a Doctor today.
Causes of Heart Valve Disease
Some heart valve problems are present since birth (congenital valve disease). Other potential causes of heart valve disease include:
- Heart attack with serious scarring
- Heart conditions, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Rheumatic fever, a condition caused by an untreated strep (bacterial) infection
- Infection of the lining of the heart
- Changes to heart valve tissues, such as stiffening, due to normal aging processes
Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease
Heart valve disease is often asymptomatic. Many times, a murmur or other abnormal sound heard through a stethoscope is the only sign of a heart valve problem.
When symptoms occur, they may include:
- Chest pain
- Signs of congestive heart failure, such as swelling of the legs and feet, shortness of breath, and fatigue
- A racing heartbeat, especially with physical activity
- Fluttering or heart palpitations with physical exertion
Treatment & Prevention of Heart Valve Disease at Dignity Health Southern California
Heart valve disease treatment and prevention strategies focus on avoiding valve damage caused by other medical conditions, relieving symptoms to maximize quality of life, and repairing or replacing damaged valves.
Your choice of treatment at Dignity Health Southern California will depend on the cause (if known) and severity of your heart valve disease. Some heart valve diseases can be treated with medications. Others require surgery to repair or replace a diseased valve.
While not all cases of valve disease can be prevented, you can reduce your risk by getting plenty of exercise, eating a heart-healthy diet, and promptly treating infections.
Dignity Health offers a full spectrum of heart care services, including treatment for heart valve disease, in Southern California.