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AORTIC VALVE STENOSIS

As you know, our heart has four valves namely mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve and the aortic valve. The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. Aortic valve stenosis is a common heart disease which affects the aortic valve. Here you can read about the disease, causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What is aortic valve stenosis?

Aortic valve stenosis or aortic stenosis is nothing but the narrowing down of the opening of the aortic valve. The narrowing of the opening will restrict the normal blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. This will force the heart to overwork in order to pump blood for various requirements of the body. The heart may make up with stenosis for a long time. But with time, the valves will weaken increasing the risk of a heart failure.

Here are the causes of aortic valve stenosis:

  • Aging
  • Congenital Heart Disease: Sometimes baby is born with abnormal aortic valve. Instead of three cusps, the baby may have one, two or four valves.
  • Amalgamation of calcium: Age can cause calcium deposits in the heart valve leading to its hardness and thickness. In such cases the symptoms will not be visible before 60 years of age as the calcium deposit takes a longer period of time.
  • Endocarditis: Infection in the heart causing damage in the heart valves.
  • Rheumatic Fever: It can damage the heart valves in certain cases. ;

Symptoms of aortic stenosis
As mentioned earlier, it takes years to develop aortic stenosis. Therefore, the symptoms may not show up unless the aortic valves narrow to a considerable extent. Hence the detection of the disease can take place at a later stage only. Here are the possible symptoms when the narrowing reaches to one fourth of the normal size;

  • Chest pain
  • A heavy feeling in the chest
  • Murmuring voice from the heart
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizzy feeling
  • Heart palpitation or heavy heartbeats 
  • Short of breath

In congenital aortic stenosis, the child may show up the following symptoms:

  • Unable to gain weight
  • Inability to do activities that needs exertion 
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Inadequate feeding

How to treat aortic stenosis
Your medical professional will suggest you the right treatment method depending upon the severity of the disease. Electrocardiogram is performed in diagnosing the problem. If the aortic stenosis is mild, you may need to follow doctor’s advice and monitor the changes.
However, for intense cases of acute stenosis, the doctor will advise you aortic valve replacement through an open heart surgery which should be performed under high facilities. For congenital aortic stenosis, it is normally advised for surgical vulvotomy.
How to get temporary relief
There are a few treatment methods that can give you temporary relief from the symptoms of aortic stenosis. Diuretic therapy and aortic balloon valvuloplasty gives relief to an extent from the symptoms.

 

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