This Thursday is Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 Americans have no idea what the illness is.
We’re here to spread the word. About 5 million Americans are currently living with heart valve disease, or HVD, and not only is it a disabling condition but it’s something that can turn deadly. The good news is that the condition can usually be treated successfully in almost all patients and the key is to catch it.
HVD happens when one or more of a patient’s heart valves are damaged and this disrupts the blood flow in the heart, as the valve no longer opens and closes properly. Some types are more serious than others. It’s something that becomes more common as you age, with 1 in 8 people over the age of 75 now estimated to suffer from moderate to severe HVD.
What causes HVD? Experts haven’t yet figured out why it happens in the womb. When a patient develops HVD later in life, it can be the result of an infection, age-related changes, or rheumatic fever. Damaged scar tissue that arises after a heart attack can also cause HVD, as can advanced high blood pressure and heart failure.
The signs and symptoms of heart valve disease can include an irregular heartbeat with fluttering or racing, dizziness and fainting and chest pain that comes when you exert yourself.
There is no cure for HVD. However, by adjusting your lifestyle and taking medications as prescribed, you can often live a fruitful life for years to come with the condition.
For more information on HVD, consult your doctor and click here.
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