Valvular heart disease is a condition that affects millions of people
around the world. This disease occurs when the valves located in the
heart do not work appropriately.
There are 4 different valves in the heart and each one of them must
work well in order for the heart to work as it should. The heart
possesses 4 chambers and at the exit of each one of them you will find
a valve. The main purposes of the valves are to make sure the blood
flows in one direction without any difficulties that might upset the
The blood enters the heart through the mitral and tricuspid valves.
Once the ventricles are full of blood these 2 valves will close in
order to avoid any of the blood to return to the atria while the
ventricle pumps the blood. Once this happen the pulmonary and the
aortic valve will open to allow the flow into the aorta, the lungs and
finally the rest of the body. When the ventricles start to relax the
pulmonary and aortic valve will close to stop any blood from coming
back into the ventricles. The process occurs continuously to keep the
organs with a healthy amount of oxygen at all times.
Valvular heart disease typically occurs when the valves harden too much
or become too thin to effectively open or close.
There are various types of the disease and they all can be dangerous.
stenosis occurs when the valve cannot fully open due to stiff
This can cause the heart to overwork itself
heart failure. This type of disease can happen in any of the 4 valves.
- Another type is
In this case the valves cannot
close completely and some blood might leak into the chamber again which
cause the heart to work harder and less blood can effectively reach the
rest of the body.
are many causes for valvular heart disease.
can be the result of a birth defect or an infection. The congenital
type normally affects the aortic valve. This usually leads to only 2
leaflets available unlike the 3 that normally people have. That
generally results in valves that cannot close or open the way they
Rheumatic fever is one bacterial infection that can create many
problems. The bacteria can cause the leaflets to become inflamed and
rigid. Thankfully many medications can reduce the infection by this
microorganism. This condition can cause several symptoms like
dizziness, shortness of breath and palpitations.
If you suspect that
you might be suffering this condition talk to your doctor immediately.
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Types of Heart Disorders
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